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The Woman in Black

Thriller . Horror . Drama . Fantasy

The story follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in the client’s isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover tragic secrets, his unease growing when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black. Receiving only silence from the locals, Kipps is forced to uncover the true identity of the Woman in Black on his own, leading to a desperate race against time when he discovers her true identity.

Actors: Sidney Johnston , Ciarán Hinds , Daniel Radcliffe , Ellisa Walker-Reid , Molly Harmon , Emma Shorey , Liz White , Shaun Dooley , Sophie Stuckey , Roger Allam , Alfie Field , Mary Stockley , Alisa Khazanova
Directors: James Watkins
Release: 2012-02-03
More Info:
  • Lawrence Toppman

    In rare cases – and The Woman in Black is one of them – a story may be more atmospheric when less is left to the imagination.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    Even now we know he’ll thrive post-Hogwarts, Radcliffe impresses as Arthur Kipps, the solicitor, widower and father with an invested interest in the afterlife.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Olly Richards

    Check behind the doors. Switch on all the lights. You won't be sleeping soundly for a while.

    Empire Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    "No Country for Young Kids" would be just as suitable a title for The Woman in Black, a hoot of an old-fashioned British horror film.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    The mostly dialogue-free middle section is a scare-film master class - and when a becalmed smile does finally cross his lips, it's in the most giddily mordant of circumstances. As Arthur embraces the darkness, so does the darkness embrace us.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The Woman in Black is a welcome addition to the old canon; renouncing innovation, embracing anachronism, it's almost "The Artist" of ghost movies. To anyone who fancies throwback stories of the supernatural, there's nothing so appealing as a well-preserved corpse.

    Time Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    If the story is laid out none too subtly, its straightforward purity is, finally, its greatest strength. Screenwriter Jane Goldman has adapted Susan Hill's 1983 novel (which spawned a radio series, TV movie and long-running West End stage play) with economy, placing a premium on eeriness, not gore.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The pleasures of the period ghost story The Woman in Black are something like the creepy shiver of delight you get from Edward Gorey's illustrated poem "The Gashlycrumb Tinies."

    Movieline Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The production company is Hammer Films, a venerable name in British horror. Responsible for some of the best monster movies of the '50s and '60s, when Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were a favorite team, Hammer has endured over the years. Now, as then, the Hammer name is an assurance that terror, not soulless special effects, lies at the heart of the production. The Woman in Black bears this out.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    As opposed to modern horror flicks like the "Saw" movies, where gruesome violence can almost blunt fears, The Woman in Black is a tasteful, old-school frightener, emphasizing suspense and foreboding over blood and guts.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The film, a handsome nerve-jangler co-produced under the storied Hammer horror banner, amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid. Success!

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Not since young Hutter arrived at Orlok's castle in "Nosferatu" has a journey to a dreaded house been more fearsome than the one in The Woman in Black.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Bob Mondello

    There's not a lot that's new about the terrors he faces - the director uses time-honored techniques to keep you on edge, every one of which graced Hammer films of yore. But happily for the picture, there's a reason they're time-honored. And keep you on edge, they definitely do.

    NPR Full Review
  • Melissa Anderson

    If director James Watkins's second film is about as scary as the haunted house your big cousins made in the basement, Radcliffe, as widowed lawyer Arthur Kipps, at least gives a moving portrayal of grief.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    If, on the other hand, you're not above acknowledging the trans-historical creepiness of a good dusty windup-doll shelf (Come on! It includes one of those hyper-realistic monkeys playing the cymbals!), this pokey, modestly budgeted thriller isn't without its shivery delights.

    Slate Full Review
  • Ben Sachs

    Director James Watkins (Eden Lake) treats the material with surprising reverence, generating good clean scares from atmosphere and character revelations rather than shock editing or gore.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Less gore is more here, and what a relief. The Woman in Black isn't especially scary, but it keeps you on edge, and without the usual vivisectionist imagery.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Helmer James Watkins ("Eden Lake") and scripter Jane Goldman judiciously combine moves from the classic scare-'em-ups with new tricks from recent J-horror pictures to retell Susan Hill's oft-adapted Victorian gothic pastiche.

    Variety Full Review
  • Andy Klein

    Radcliffe's fidgety performance is convincing, and he does come across as an adult, though a very young one.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    An old-fashioned, tastefully constrained supernatural thriller, The Woman In Black embraces the elements of gothic horror movies with pleasing seriousness.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    There's little that's new, revealing or stylish about this basic-black horror story, but if you've got a Goth sensibility, it might suit you.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Though Radcliffe occasionally seems too stiffly callow to be completely convincing in this grown-up role, the movie is a proficient thriller with a potential appeal beyond the star's fan-girl audience.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The Woman in Black doesn't break new ground, but in its suggestions of fine film ghost stories, from "The Innocents" to "The Others" and "The Orphanage," it works you over with riveting restraint.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • John Anderson

    The landscape is dire, the architecture is haunted, children disappear by the dozens and antique toys inexplicably spark to life. That Mr. Radcliffe doesn't is part of the problem.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Though "Woman" never rises above its status as a traditional genre thriller, that's perfectly fine. It was made with intelligence and commitment, and it achieves its goal: to keep us looking over our shoulders long after we've left.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Subtlety may not be Watkins' strong suit, but he knows how to frame a scene for maximum tension and dread.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Boring and sedentary, not to mention only occasionally coherent, this creaking-door mystery is not much of a vehicle to display young Mr. Radcliffe's range and charm.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    There is one nice pop-up scare against a dozen or so false, ineffectual ones - a poor percentage. As the title states, she is a woman and wears black, but she might as well be a hastily decked-out script girl for all her impact.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Erstwhile boy wizard Daniel Radcliffe works no magic as a grieving lawyer in The Woman in Black, a creaky haunted-house story that's strong on creepy atmosphere but woefully deficient in the scare department.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    If, in the end, the movie fails to generate much beyond several crackling jump scares and a nicely gothic mise-en-scene, it has enough mood, and enough Radcliffe, to carry us through the mist.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Director James Watkins knows how to make a body jump out of its skin, even if he does use the face-reflected-in-the-mirror/window trick once too often. At the same time, the film is kind of, well, silly.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    To my thinking, this splendid low-key bummer of a ghost story was eventually undermined by the film's increasing reliance on shock-scares, in which something suddenly and noisily jumps into the frame, over and over and over.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    Janet McTeer provides a little ham to the role of a woman who dresses up her dogs because she misses her dead twin sons. But there's not nearly enough of her. Nor is there enough legitimate suspense.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    The Woman in Black has lovely period atmosphere. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much else besides atmosphere.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    In his first starring role post-Harry Potter, Radcliffe must carry the movie with little dialogue and practically nothing to play other than fear, constantly reacting to creepy toys that suddenly spring to life and reflections in windows that shriek unexpectedly at him.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The film is wonderfully atmospheric and full of little frights, but its overall impact is only glancing.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Without Radcliffe at the center looking scared out of his wits, The Woman In Black would seem even slighter than it already does.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • In the end, The Woman in Black displays a higher regard for the material makeup of gruesome-looking Victorian dolls than it does for the psychological turmoil of its characters, making one wish that some of the money it budgeted for cranes and fog machines had been offered to a script doctor.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Despite its haunted house setting, the movie's most visible cobwebs are found in Jane Goldman's screenplay, adapted from Susan Hill's novel.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    A credible suspense story with a surprisingly bold ending, The Woman In Black is a solid step away from Harry Potter for star Daniel Radcliffe - while it, too, is British and fantastical, the tone is sinister, adult and bleak.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
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