THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012) The Alternative HCF Review!

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Even though the six of us here at HCF are the best of buddies and normally we agree on a majority of films we watch, there are on occasions where a film comes a long that causes a split between the camp. Even now Matt and Ross argue on the quality of Rob Zombie’s Halloween, we also argue at times with the Doc whose love of films takes us by complete and utter surprise and we scream at him “How can you… can you………like that feckin film!”….

You see when it comes to reviewing the new releases for the week to put on our home page, it sometimes becomes a bit tricky, especially if the HCF Critic who was picked that week to review the main film has given it a massive load of stars rating while the rest of us just look on in total silence after pouring scorn on the very same film and its because of that we have decided to do a new feature, where one of us totally disagrees with our fellow critic and writes an alternative review, either spitting out blood at the disaster they have just watched or questioning the fact why their fellow critic was so harsh and did not lavish the praise on a work of beauty….

Who was right? You decide!

This week, Ross Hughes looks at the horror hit The Woman In Black and simply asks the question “Is everyone out of their feckin mind?”

Sitting down to watch the new version of The Woman In Black and I have to say I was glued to my seat. No litteraly I was glued to my seat otherwise I would have left the cinema but some bastard had tipped some stuff on the very place I was sitting and I found my bum stuck to the fabric. I sat there and wondered what could it be? Some food that fell from their mouth? Maybe they spilled some drink in haste, or could it have been something more? something dark? like a couple who had nowhere else to go for the night so decided to sit on my seat two hours before I had the chance and, well got up to stuff which resulted in a very sticky seat.

Yes these thoughts were ringing through my head on many occasions but I suppose at least my imagination was keeping me entertained from the boredom I was suffering watching this piece of turd. I mean how the heck is this film winning so much critical acclaim? All I have had recenttly is close friends coming up to me and uttering words like “Have you seen The Woman In Black yet?, oh you should….its scary?”….

Now what did they mean by scary? I mean for a start this was a 12 rating so I was not expecting to be jumped out of my skin here and also have buckets of blood being thrown at me, but scary? Where at what time was I frightened? Oh yes by the lame script, now that freaked me! By the fact that nothing really happens in this film until after the hour mark and then its all done so quickly and confusing that you left scratching your head at what is happening.

Now before all the fans jump on my back and say that I have no idea what I am talking about then just look at the facts……I mean Harry does nothing for 60 minutes of the film. Here he is in this strange town, being met by an hostile crowd who shout at him and say things like “You should not have come!” and yet not once did he ask “Why?”….I mean if you see a Woman In Black in the middle of the woods staring at you then you do start wondering if things are not what they seem. He does not once investigate what is happening, why kids are dying and he spends the majority of the time walking around like a confused young wizard who has just lost his magic wand and who really wants to be back in Hogwarts and boring us all to death with another three hour film about kids and their broomsticks.

I am sorry but the film is dragged down by such a weak leading main character that lacks the presence to hold the film together. When you look at something like 1408, a ghost flick which would have been even a lesser film if it was not for the performance of John Cusack then you see where I am coming from. Radcliffe walking around for an hour ike a lost puppy is something which I did not pay to see and yet its unfair to blame it all on him because the script he was served with was not very good!

Yes the film was jumpy at times but big deal! You always know when a horror film lacks in a quality script and that is when they pile in scenes of endless jump scenes to keep the viewers interested. Yes you jumped, and yes you jumped again, but please look beyond that and realise you see nothing but an empty film full of the same old horror cliches that died out in the 80’s when films like these were all the rage.

After the hour mark, the film does pick up and that is only because Harry starts to finally ask the right questions which he should have asked in the first 10 minutes. The climax is laughable at best! After a bore fest of a first half, the final quarter moves at such a frantic pace that it feels rushed and borders on stupid really. I mean the motives of the ghost is pretty silly if you ask me, I mean we are not talking about the same poor back-story that Elly Kedwood suffered and then took her revenge on the those campers in the late 90’s.

And the final twist, well I say twist but come on…..I mean lets end it on a downbeat but then surprise everyone by selling out for a happy ending.


For me The Woman In Black 2012 was not a patch on The Woman In Black 1989. I’ll argue with anyone who will say that this modern version is better. I mean how? Have you seen the 1989 version? Now that is a classic tale, much loved in the horror circles and contains scare scenes that for some odd reason, this modern version decided not to redo. Maybe that was the problem for me with this film. I mean in my eyes its just another pointless re-make, a horror that lacked everything you want in the genre, and what saddens me more is that this is taking money left right and centre at the box office, while the much superior films like The Orphanage get constantly overlooked, and that ladies and gentlemen is a more scary thought than anything that was displayed in this film!

For all those who have not seen the 1989 original…check out “that scene!” that scared a generation…..


And check out Matt’s Alternative view here…

                                                   Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About Ross Hughes 1915 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

1 Comment

  1. Bang on Hughes, I was disappointed with the remake. The original tv version was infinitely better and scarier!
    This new one was too tied up in a bow for my liking, as you rightly observed, Radcliffe’s character did not question why the village was so hesitant on having him there and then the ending was neatly packaged to please. No! The ending from the 1989 one was killer! 🙂

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