March 2012

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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

Finally, a movie I can be excited about. Classic snobbery aside, it is pretty obvious to anyone who's read my posts here that I loathe most modern horror, and by modern I mean anything done in the past 3-4 decades. There are rare gems, don't get me wrong, I'm not oblivious to some of the more tasty tidbits that have escaped from an otherwise dismal and disgusting era of films that are aimed more at making me vomit than stare at the closet in fear all night. Even some recent, almost promising, remakes turned out to be sad and disappointing (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark). Imagine my surprise to find little "Harry Potter" in what turned out to be one hell of a horror movie.

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!! I admit the ads were good, and the reviews were encouraging, but I could not avoid a slight bit of trepidation at actually sitting down to watch. Too many films in my past that just haven't lived up to the hype make me leery of most anything these days. I was wrong. This was classic gothic horror at its best. I would even venture to say that this movie could give one of my all time faves a serious run for its money.

The setting is gloomy, but not so dark that you feel like their hiding the crappy special effects. I was impressed with the cinematography. The scenes are foggy, dim, overcast and still in some odd way amazingly bright for the viewer. You can't miss a single shadow or hiding figure. Not that they are any less creepy in their pseudo obviousness, they are still quite eerie. Even the dark house with its cobwebs, candles and oil lamps still manages to let you see all the important bits in full clarity.

The story line is intriguing and engaging. You're interested in what's going on. There is a real plot here. It's not just scary for the sake of scare, although there are literally dozens of jump out of your seat moments. No slow spots here. I cannot say enough about this movie or how much I enjoyed it. It is well written and well executed with an ending that was completely unexpected.

I don't want to give too much away, but this film does not disappoint, nor does its young star. Daniel Radcliffe plays gothic very well, and does a convincing job of the not to be deterred hero. I am happy to see there is more to his repertoire than waving wands and fucking horses. I certainly hope to see him continue to expand his resume. If nothing else, I have to give him, as well as the other cast, crew and writers, kudos for renewing my faith in a genre I loved. I have always been more of an Edgar Allan Poe kind of girl, and that is exactly what I got!