Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Riveting yes, but a little too rigid

This was my first, 'proper' horror film I saw in the theatre. And quite an entertaining one, I'll say. The trailer manages to instill enough spook into a person, and the accompanied rhyme just adds to the creepiness. The trailer opens with a shot of toys, with no voice over or background music and a sinister rhyme follows:

‘During afternoon tea, there’s a shift in the air,
a bone-trembling chill that tells you she’s there.’

There are those who believe the whole town is cursed,
but the house in the marsh was by far the worst.’

‘What she wants is unknown, but she always comes back,
the spectre of darkness, the woman in black.’

This reminded me of the catchy rhyme that is often repeated in 'Dead Silence', which went something like this – Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, she had no children, only dolls. If you ever see her in your dream, make sure you never ever scream!

Well so much for Dead Silence, onto The Woman in Black.
I will confess, I was intrigued to watch Radcliffe in this role. Not that I had plastered his face as Harry Potter (December Boys helped clean the slate a bit), but I wanted to see if could really carry the role forward. Playing the role of a lawyer based in London, it took me some time to digest that he has a 4 yr old boy. C'mon, he just left Hogwarts! My friend, with whom I went to see the movie, expected him to swish out his wand anytime! After the success of Harry Potter, Daniel will really have a tough time breaking through the mould. But this movie, should make things a little easier.

The movie opens with a chilling shot, of three little girls at a pretend tea party. Out of the blue, as if they were being directed, they just walk right through the window. This definitely leaves the audience baffled, creating a sense of curiosity. Cut to London, where Daniel or Arthur Kipps, is getting ready to leave. With the death of his wife during childbirth, he does portray an image of a father who loves his child, but cannot help being a little distant. With an unshaven look and crusty sidelocks, I almost saw Hugh Jackman in him. I just could not help comparing their likeness (not the body, obviously).

When he arrives at the little dull and drippy English town, the locals seem mystified by him. The local innkeeper gives him a queer look, trying not to provide him with any accommodation. However, his wife puts him up at the attic. The minute you see her open the door, you realise that this was the children's playroom, from where those girls took a leap. I felt bad for Arthur, who even in the face of danger plodded on with his work due to pressure from his boss, and his debts.

The drive to the mansion are pretty, however haunting they may look. The single path is flanked with marsh on either side, making the mansion a little island when the tide is high. My friend once strayed into a 'marsh like' area on the beach in Daman, so I am pretty much aware how dangerous they can be. The mansion is the locus of the enigma that hangs low over the town. A perfect setting for a horror film, its draped in creepers. Here, Arthur first sees the 'Woman in black' in the thick of the woods, nearby.

Definitely, Arthur reaches the town a rattled man, however, he is still oblivious to the entire mystery behind the deaths of the children.

The sightings of the woman in black are few, but it does send a tingling chill down your spine. Especially her sighting in the mansion's nursery, when Arthur looks out of the window and she floats into the frame...downright creepy!

The movie is entertaining, worth every rupee I spent and am even contemplating to watch it again. Daniel had a lot of responsibility in the movie. However, I felt that in certain spooky scenes, though his eyes had the fear in them, his face went very rigid, his jaws clenched and everything was so stiff. But, other than that, The Woman in Black is definitely a must watch!

No comments:

Post a Comment