Fear of the unknown

A dark theatre can take many different forms: an animated wonderland. a thrilling spy headquarters, a romantic getaway island, etc.

However, when I found myself at the local Chesterfield AMC theatres last Friday, the scene set had a completely different air to it. Within the first few minutes of “The Woman In Black” I was introduced to Arthur Kipps (played flawlessly by Daniel Radcliffe) and his despondent past. The event of being widowed four years previously by the birth of his son took quite a toll on the young lawyer, but his undying love for the both of them is unquestionable.

When we as the audience were really thrown into the thick of the story, I don’t think many of us knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into. I myself have been waiting for this movie since last summer, and it surely didn’t disappoint; in fact, it exceeded expectations. If there was one person in that theater that wasn’t thoroughly scared out of their wits, and yet touched by the film’s cinematic achievements I would be genuinely surprised.

What made the film such a success was the way it went about it’s purpose. The problem with almost every scary movie in the past decade or longer is the path that they take to accomplish the scare factor. Jump scares they’re called. (When a ghost pops out from the door that took 15 seconds to creakily open, or a piercing scream heard from the next house over as a family sits down for dinner)

The thing with “The Woman In Black” was it’s almost strict diversion from the jump factor or pure gore, once things got heated at the abandoned mansion at Eel Marsh. Much like some of the classic horror movies like “The Exorcist” and the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Silence of The Lambs,” the scariest thing you see is what you don’t exactly see. A few jump scares are utilized purely to get the audience into the horror feeling, but the final hour and ten minutes was something that I had never seen before, instilling in me the belief that silence truly is golden.

Radcliffe has officially crossed the threshold into a true career, as opposed to being typecast as a young boy wizard for the rest of his life. There’s a 20-plus minute scene where Radcliffe is completely silent except for his breathing and it was then I found myself the most scared I’ve ever been in a movie theater. His acting was phenomenal and the audience was with his thought process every step of the way.

My only recommendation for this film is don’t see it alone. Questions comments concerns email me at [email protected]