A true Hammer horror film if there ever was one. A simple, and genuinely eerie ghost story is so hard to find these days. The Orphanage was quite good, but unfortunately the advent of the fakeumentary; i.e. Paranormal Activity; has caused a bit of a decline in modern horror. The Woman in Black, however, is your classic young man in an old scary house, against townspeople warnings. Its everything a horror buff looks for in a haunted house flick.
The scares are not cheap, and neither is the ghost herself. The plot ain't too shabby either. Vengeful ghost woman makes children kill themselves to pay for the loss of her own son. Did I say classic? In fact, as I write this, I've given the movie an extra half star just for bringing back the feelings I got as a child watching Ghost story or The Legend of Hell House.
The Woman in Black doesn't skimp on the ending either. If you've ignored the fact that this review contains spoilers til now, but do not want the end revealed, I suggest you stop reading now. Ok, so the ghost, as I said, kills children when seen. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the story's protagonist, has a small son. Clearly, he will die. So that was to be expected. However, the scene itself is beautifully done. While standing at the train station, ready to leave that godawful town forever, believing the soul of the woman in black has been put to rest by being reunited with her dead son's remains, you see her. In a wonderful slow motion scene, the little boy blankly walks onto the train tracks. Radcliffe, only noticing at the last minute, runs to the aid of his son, scoops him from the center of the tracks, and the light of the train passes as you wonder what became of them. When the train has passed, Radcliffe and son emerge from the side of the tracks, relieved to be safe. However, as they look around they see an empty train station, with the exception of one woman standing on the tracks. It is the boy's mother, who had died during child birth. The family is reunited in the after life, and walks off together. It was beyond words. I long gave up hoping for a decent ending from most horror films, and ghost stories especially....when you read my review for The Innkeepers, you'll understand why. Luckily, The Woman in Black delivers a solid performance all the way through. Good for you, Harry.