Friday, 24 February 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black is a 2012 horror-thriller film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane Goldman, and is based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name. It is produced by Hammer Film Productions. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey, and Liz White. It was released in the United States and Canada on 3 February 2012 to generally positive reviews, and was released in the United Kingdom on 10 February 2012.

The Plot

In the Edwardian era, young solicitor Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) lives with his four-year-old son Joseph (Misha Handley) and his son's nanny (Jessica Raine). Kipps' wife Stella (Sophie Stuckey) died after childbirth. Kipps has visions of her and is facing financial problems along with stress from his firm. He is assigned to handle the estate of Alice Drablow, who owned Eel Marsh House of England, where she had lived with her husband, son Nathaniel, and sister Jennet Humfrye (Liz White). Although the locals are unwelcoming, Kipps befriends Sam Daily (Ciarán Hinds), a wealthy landowner, and his wife Elizabeth (Janet McTeer).

At Eel Marsh House, located on an island in the marshes, Kipps repeatedly hears footsteps and sees a woman dressed in black. He reports the sighting at the local police station. While there, two boys bring in their sister Victoria (Alexia Osborne), who has drunk lye; she dies in Kipps's arms. She is not the first child in town to commit suicide and the townspeople believe the "Woman in Black" comes for their children as revenge for her own child being taken from her.

Kipps and Sam arrive at the house of Jerome, the local solicitor. The house is empty and they hear a noise from the cellar. Kipps peers through a hole in the cellar door and is startled when the face of a young girl, Lucy Jerome (Aoife Doherty) suddenly appears and screams at him to go away, believing he was responsible for Victoria's death. After returning to the house, Kipps discovers that Nathaniel drowned during a carriage accident and Jennet hung herself. Kipps also discovers notes claiming that Jennet was mentally unstable and was not allowed to care for Nathaniel, who was actually her son, although this fact was hidden by Alice, who raised him as her own. The villagers desperately want Kipps to leave but he refuses, wanting to protect his job. Sam and Elizabeth reveal that their only son drowned and that he communicates through his mother, Elizabeth, by possession; Elizabeth then draws a hanging woman who Kipps realizes is Jennet.

Throughout the night at the house, Kipps has many paranormal experiences with the Woman in Black and all the children that committed suicide. The next morning, Sam and Kipps return to town to see the local solicitor's house on fire. Kipps rushes inside to rescue Lucy, the solicitor's daughter, who has been locked in the cellar. There, he sees the Woman in Black manipulate the girl into setting herself on fire. Kipps visits Mrs. Daily, who reveals in a trance that Joseph is the next victim. Kipps realizes he must put Nathaniel to rest by giving him a proper burial. Kipps and Sam go to the Marsh, locate Nathaniel's body, and lay him out in the nursery. The Woman in Black appears and attacks Kipps but they finally lay Nathaniel to rest by burying him with his real mother, Jennet.

Kipps is reunited with his son, Joseph, at the railway station and plans to leave immediately. While bidding Sam goodbye, Kipps turns to Joseph, walking along the tracks towards a fast approaching train. Sam notices the Woman in Black along the platform as Kipps jumps onto the tracks to save Joseph. As the train passes, Sam looks through the windows to see the unrested souls of all the children the Woman in Black has claimed. Still standing on the tracks with Joseph, Kipps looks up to see the now deserted platform. Joseph asks, "Daddy, who is that lady?" to which Kipps replies with a smile, "That's your Mummy." Realizing he and his son have died, he kisses his son and takes his wife's hand, the three of them reunited in death.


Reviews for the film have been generally favourable. As of 4 February 2012, the film has a 64% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 144 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10, with a consensus that says: "Traditional to a fault, The Woman in Black foregoes gore for chills -- although it may not provide enough of them for viewers attuned to modern, high-stakes horror." The film has received a rating of 62/100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Based on 10.172 users, IMDb rated the movie with a 7.2 out of 10.

The Cast

Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps
Ciarán Hinds as Sam Daily
Janet McTeer as Elizabeth Daily
Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps,
Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps
Liz White as Jennet Humfrye
Aoife Doherty as Lucy Jerome
Roger Allam as Mr Bentley
Alexia Osborne as Victoria Hardy
Ashley Foster as Nathaniel Drablow
Jessica Raine as Joseph's Nanny
Shaun Dooley as Fisher
Mary Stockley as Mrs Fisher
Sidney Johnston as Nicholas Daily

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