The Woman in Black (1989) Movie Review

The worldwide Blu-ray debut of The Woman in Black is available exclusively from the Network website on 10 August

Director: Herbert Wise

Writer: Nigel Kneale (Screenplay) Susan Hill (Book)

Starring: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauling Moran, David Ryall, Clare Holman

Plot: A lawyer travels to a small seaside town to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman, but soon becomes ensnared in something much more sinister.


Tagline – A spine-chilling ghost story
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Little Ghost Story

Story: The Woman in Black starts when Arthur Kidd (Rawlins) is assigned to head to Crythin, a seaside town where he must attend to deal with the will and sale of an estate. Arthur finds himself needing to meet the locals with Sam Toovey (Hepton) filling in the history of the town, before Arthur starts getting to work.

Once Arthur arrivals at Marsh House, he starts hearing unusually noises, which includes screaming from the marsh, where nobody is, along with a childish voice trying to communicate with him, before seeing the mysterious woman in black in the shadows.

Thoughts on The Woman in Black

Characters – Arthur Kidd is a young solicitor from London that gets assigned to a job in the country, one away from his young family, he must take it to move forward with his career, he must learn how the small town operates, learn about the mystery of the town before dealing with horrific screaming him keeping him up during his stay. Sam Toovey is the local lawyer that usually handles everything around the town, he guides Arthur through the history and offers him the shelter he needs in during the troublesome times. We do have the boss who sends Arthur, who is uses his own desire to improve himself to make him work more, the fellow towns people who have their own stories and other course the mysterious woman in black that is haunting Arthur.

PerformancesAdrian Rawlins in the leading role is the strongest performer, showing the fear he is going through coming off strong. The rest of the cast do work well through the film, showing us just how they would fit the small village.

StoryThe story here follows a young solicitor that must travel to a small town to deal with a death only to find himself dealing with a ghostly figure haunting him, pushing his own sanity. This is from the novel of Susan Hill and slowly builds up the tension as we are left to see just how the hauntings start simple and become more intense along the way. Having the typical towns people guide and the mystery about what is happening keeping us guessing along the way does add something to the story, while it doesn’t seem to reach the full levels of horror that could have been created.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film is the hauntings, while the screaming Arthur hears is great to keep us wondering, it doesn’t seem to capture everything when it comes to the inside hauntings, with the mystery being about the screaming, which does have a surprising conclusion.

SettingsThe small-town setting does add to the creepy side of the story as we learn how the town has accepted what is likely to happen here.


Scene of the Movie – The boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough haunting in the house.

Final Thoughts This is a nice ghost story that has a great mystery about it, only it does seem to hold off on the top scares, even if it is saved with a ending you won’t see coming.

Overall: Easy to watch horror.

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