The Woman In Black (2012) Review

With that being said though, it should be mentioned – and this is probably what will make this worth seeing for many people – that this was the first time in ages that I was genuinely frightened by a horror movie.

Now, yes, that’s an entirely subjective statement, and what scares me won’t necessarily scare you. However, if you too have had to sit through every single friggin’ horror film that’s been crapped out by studios since this summer, then you’d most likely have a high threshold for contemporary scare tactics (i.e., jump scares and gore – ooh so scary, stuff that is inside of me.) Let’s face it. Movies just aren’t scary anymore. Maybe it’s that people in general have pretty much “seen it all” or maybe it’s that a generation raised on video games can easily stand outside of what is supposed to be an immersive experience.

Either way, horror these days equates to short periods of silence followed by – surprise, surprise – something jumping out at you or, more creatively speaking, some kind of fantastic disembowelment.

Paranormal Activity gave us long bouts of unmitigated suspense, and proved that people can be unnerved in ways more subtle then what we’re used to. And then this goddamn thing comes along with its boring-ass, flaccid story structure and stiff-upper-lip setting, and actually makes you want to crap your pants. Granted, these two or three scenes are few and far between, but they manage to make some use of the atmosphere through genuinely frightening imagery. The kind that punches you right in the chest. The kind that your brain decides to recollect the moment you decide to finally turn in for the night.

The Woman in Black
“If a spooky ghost gets up in my face, I’ll hit it with this ax.”

Admittedly, you really have to earn your treat, in this case. You have to slog through two acts of, “Oh no, a loud sound – oh never mind” before you can have your tasty reward. Some might appreciate the slow “build up” and some might argue that build up is supposed to have mild impact. I’ll let you decide which category you fall into.

Then again, most of the horror of the first two acts is targeted more toward those who have kids. The major premise is that something is going around town, causing kids to disappear (or more accurately, causing kids to die horribly) yet no one knows exactly what the cause is.

Now, if you’re a proud parent, then this might hit closer to home than you’d expect. If your kid suddenly decided to jam his jimmy in the garbage disposal, then you too would be wrought with grief. In that case, maybe The Woman in Black might really be your ticket (you sick little monkey).

But, if you happen to hate kids, then, um, well, you either won’t give a damn or The Woman In Black might really be your ticket (you dirty hamster of a man).

The Verdict [rating:2.5]

However, if you don’t fall into either of those categories, and you don’t really have a thing for atmosphere or falling asleep while sitting upright, well I’m sure TinTin is still playing. Just be sure to bear in mind that The Woman in Black is the first authentically terrifying film for quite some time – it’s enough to make a grown man soil himself and try to hide it from the theater patrons by “accidentally” spilling his drink onto his lap. To this humble freak of nature, that definitely bears some clout.


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