The Woman in Black (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=246488&d=1336943862
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: Sony - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 95 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White
Directed by: James Watkins
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: Jane Goldman - Based on the novel by Susan Hill
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 22, 2012







"She'll never let go"



Film Synopsis:

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric. But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret. Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.



My Take:

Based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill The woman in black is an old school horror film that eschews blood letting in favor of psychological elements and eerie chills. The story is an English gothic tale about a small town that has seen its share of loss. Their pain revolves around the outwardly inexplicable suicide deaths of their children. Most of the townsfolk believe the problem lies in the unspoken evil that lurks in a dreary old manor house that resides on the outskirts of town on the other side of a large marsh. Years ago a seven year old boy died in a carriage accident from which his body was never recovered. Legend has it that the ghost of his mother, dressed in a black shroud, haunts the manor/grounds and seeks vengeance for the loss of her son. When the owner of the manor house passes away a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, is sent by the firm representing the estate to settle its affairs. Arthur has tragedy in his own past which has led to problems at work. This assignment is his last chance to get things back on track and he is determined to take care of it. His arrival in town is met with apprehension and a foreboding sense of dread from the locals who try to dissuade him from going to the manor house. Unclear about exactly what is fueling the unspoken fear in town Arthur heads out to the manor house. Once there and alone Arthur comes to understand that the town's fear as well as the evil behind it is very real. Afraid that it may come for his own son, Arthur must confront it head on in the hopes of slaking its thirst for vengeance.

I liked the look and feel of this film and appreciated its traditional take on the genre. The character of Arthur Kipps is sympathetically drawn and fits well within the narrative's construct. I would have preferred more background/detail on the woman as the information provided would be best described as sketchy. Since the story hinges on her quest for revenge I found this to be problematic. Filling in the gaps wouldn't have added much to the film's 95 minute runtime and would have added the depth necessary to make for a more rounded movie experience. I didn't find the ending to be wholly satisfying either but that may be dependent on ones expectations. Daniel Radcliff gives a credible performance in the lead and is aptly supported by Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer. Genre fans looking for gore/violence will be disappointed. As it stands The woman in black is a decent horror film that despite its fairly predicable frights/ jump scares is creepy enough to engage and makes for a good way to spend a dark rainy night.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material and violence/disturbing images.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692




Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

The woman in black comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

This film's elements aren't lent to overly vibrant colors and high gloss video quality. Images tend to lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers strive for to drive the story's elements. This is done to good effect. Shadow delineation is quite good and revealing of subtle details within dark backgrounds and low lighting sequences which gave those scenes better visual depth. Stable contrast and black levels allow scenes containing mixed content to appear dynamic with punchy dark highlights. Detail is rendered quite well with crisp textures and definitive resolution that brings forth subtle nuance within images onscreen. Colors are limited to darker tones with occasional splashes of vivid hues which stand out nicely against the film's dark visual aesthetic.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the surround platform to drive the film's elements. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room's acoustic environment is notable. Discrete rear channel activity isn't extensive however the elements of fright provide an enriching level of immersion which is punctuated by palpably rich bass. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this excellent soundtrack as it augments the enjoyment of this film.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by director James Watkins

  • (HD) Inside the perfect thriller: The making of The woman in black - 9 minute featurette

  • (HD) No fear: Daniel Radcliff as Arthur Kipps - 4 minute featurette

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy
attachment.php?attachmentid=246489&d=1336943862

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill The woman in black is an old school horror film that eschews blood letting in favor of psychological horror and eerie chills. The storyline could have been fleshed out a little better and the elements of fright are a little on the predictable side but the film still works thanks in part to a decent performance by star Daniel Radcliff. The woman in black comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and an underwhelming supplemental offering that features a bland audio commentary and two short features that look behind the scenes. When you're in the mood for a little old school horror on movie night drop this one in your rental queue.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 07:19 PM
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My wife and I watched this in the theater. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. We don't enjoy graphic horror, this film suited us perfectly!

For as simple as this film is, I was very surprised to be on the edge of my seat for several scenes. I've never seen my wife so spooked.

For reference, our 'spook' list includes:

Sixth Sense
The Ring
What Lies Beneath
The Others
Signs
The Village
Poltergeist
etc...

As you can see, we don't enjoy horror/gore.

If you like the above movies, you will most likely enjoy The Woman In Black.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 02:39 AM
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I'm sure I'll see it sooner or later. I have to askhow hard it is to see DR as anything other than Harry Potter? Probably easier than one would imagin since he's all grown up now.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 06:38 AM
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I had a hard time for the first 5 minutes. It's his voice, it's exactly the same as Harry Potter's.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 09:22 AM
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Same here. Not only that but he looks like Harry Potter also.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Lee View Post

My wife and I watched this in the theater. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. We don't enjoy graphic horror, this film suited us perfectly!

For as simple as this film is, I was very surprised to be on the edge of my seat for several scenes. I've never seen my wife so spooked.

For reference, our 'spook' list includes:

Sixth Sense
The Ring
What Lies Beneath
The Others
Signs
The Village
Poltergeist
etc...

As you can see, we don't enjoy horror/gore.

If you like the above movies, you will most likely enjoy The Woman In Black.

Great! These movies are in my favorite horror movies collection. It sounds like I will enjoy TWIB
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 01:38 PM
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I like the ending, not sure if it was a blessing or a curse depending on personal bias.

Overall, it's a rental for HP fans.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 02:24 PM
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Good to hear that Hammer's winning streak continues. As a fan of Hammer Films, I'm just glad they're back! I've enjoyed the previous three films from the new Hammer and certainly plan on seeing this one, both for entertainment and to support their continued efforts.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-15-2012, 07:45 PM
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Looking forward to renting this one.

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-25-2012, 08:20 PM
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I completely agree with Ralph's review - right down to the T on this one.

Wouldn't describe this as overly scary - rather somewhat creepy. Good use of the surrounds on some of the jolts.

At first I didn't care for the ending - but after reflection - it fit probably fit the storyline as well as any ending.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-28-2012, 11:08 AM
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This was nicely done and more than enough spine tingling and hair raising to satisfy. The look and feel were dead on for this film and the soundtracks sound had good immersion and was very involving with very deep profound room pressurizing "Bass" As for the ending it took a minute to get it but I really liked it! I may indeed have to add this one to my collection
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-03-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:


The storyline could have been fleshed out a little better and the elements of fright are a little on the predictable side but the film still works thanks in part to a decent performance by star Daniel Radcliff.

Predictable is the right word here. IMO, any film that has to depend on loud noises to startle people is in trouble from the start. You can call this "old school", I just call it bad.
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