Director: James Watkins
Rating: 3 / 5
Years ago, a woman adopted her sister's son because she found her to be an unfit mother. However, the young boy was killed in the marsh around their home, and his birth mother was very unhappy about it. She'd been trying to get her son back, or at least be able to see him once in a while (they wouldn't even give him her birthday cards), to no avail. She blamed her sister for his death, and soon after took her own life.
In the present, that sister has died, and Mr. Arthur Kipps has been sent to her home to arrange all of her things. He is warned by several villagers that the house is very haunted and very dangerous, but he doesn't believe it at first. After he arrives and takes a look around the house, children start to die. It seems that the villagers don't like him at all, and somehow blame him for the children's deaths. He soon finds out (after he's trapped in the house with no way of leaving) that the suicide victim is haunting the house. She is angry about her son's death, and takes other people's children as a way of consoling herself. One villager told Kipps that, once she is spotted, a child is killed. They're not actually killed, though; The Woman in Black appears to them and convinces them to take their own lives. Children can be seen jumping from windows, lighting themselves on fire, or drinking lye in order to get the job done. Kipps knows he must do something (perhaps reunite the woman with her son), or none of the town's children will be safe. There's only one problem...His own son will be coming to visit him very shortly, and he must find a solution before his child's life is in danger as well.
There are definitely some spooky parts in this movie, and it did make me jump a couple of times. But I think it relied to much on the startle factor, rather than actual fear. We all know the scenes in "ghost" movies, where the spirits pop out of nowhere, or appear in mirrors, etc. These were used to the fullest extent, almost to the point that it seemed overdone. The story was pretty good, and I thought it was filmed beautifully. But was it a great movie? No, but it wasn't awful either. I think Daniel proved himself a pretty good actor outside of his safe zone, and I wish him all the best with his future projects. But overall, this one could have been much better. I think I will have to look into the original film (which I didn't know about until after I'd already seen this one), and see how it compares.