Book vs. Movie: THE WOMAN IN BLACK

First off I need to start my review by giving all my love to Daniel Radcliffe, he was utterly fantastic in the film! Go DanRad! Now to begin here’s some background on the story:

The Woman In Black is about a young solicitor named Arthur Kipps who is sent to Crythin Gifford by the firm he works for to represent them at their former client, Mrs. Drablow’s funeral. Once the funeral is over he has to report to Mrs. Drablow’s house and look at all the papers around the house and get whatever was of any kind of importance.

The house, Eel March House, is a creepy house situated on a very secluded island. The only way anyone can get to it is by using the Nine Lives Causeway. This entire area is subject to fog that completely covers the entire island and makes the visibility horrible. Every time Kipps speaks about this house and what he has to do, people give him the worst looks and have fear to them.

Absolutely no one likes speaking about Mrs. Drablow. Once he gets to the funeral he learns that Mrs. Drablow had no family or friends there to mourn her death. As the funeral is going on Kipps sees a woman towards the rear of the church and describes her as “pale with a wasted face” dressed in basically all black. Being curious, he decides he wants to ask the woman whats wrong and see if he can help, but she disappears. Which then causes Kipps, to ask around but get no real answers or anything really significant. Kipps is then taken to Eel March House by Keckwick, a local of the village, and once in the house Kipps encounters a lot of unsettling moments.

Outside the house he hears a lady and a child screaming and crying in the marsh and then inside the house he hears other weird noises and goes through many haunting situations, all by this woman in black. As Kipps goes through the crazy amount of papers in Mrs. Drablow’s house he figures out the story behind this woman.


There were a lot of new things added in the film that weren’t in the book. First off, they showed/added the deaths of the children in the village. In the book, they don’t really talk that much about how each child dies once the woman is seen. In fact, the only child death they really speak of is Arthur’s son at the end of the book. The book goes more in depth of Arthur Kipps’ experience in the house. He begins by telling his experience as a story. Also, in the beginning of the book Arthur Kipps has a fiancee’, he doesn’t have one in the film, he spends most of the time mourning the loss of his wife who died after giving birth to his son, but in the book at the end his wife dies from serious injuries gotten from a accident where a horse carriage she and their son were in crashed.

His son died, but in the film he was alive. In the house a lot of things happen that didn’t happen in the book, some of those things are the writing on the wall in the nursery with blood, and Arthur getting Mrs. Drablow’s sisters sons body from where the carriage carrying him sank in the marshes than taking the body to the nursery and trying to reunite Mrs. Drablow’s sister with her son. The whole story about Mrs. Drablow taking her sister Jennet Humphrey son for mandatory adoption, was told differently in the movie, they made Arthur find out mainly for himself while in the book Samuel Daily tells Arthur the entire story and that the woman in black in Jennet Humphrey.

One big part I wish they added in the film was when, in the book, Arthur first sees the woman in black at Mrs. Drablow’s funeral. I think that was a very key moment in the book, I was really hoping to see that part in the film. They just instantly made him go to the house and he saw the woman outside of Mrs. Drablow’s house. They also showed the woman in black more in the film. To finish, Arthur Kipps died at the end with his son. He tries to save him before the train runs him over, but he doesn’t succeed and before it, the woman in black had appeared. The books ending involved an accident which had Arthurs fiancee’ and son die in a carriage hitting a tree accident.

The verdict: 

I would first try to read the book, or at least most of it before seeing the film, because I feel like obviously the book has more detail and really dives in to the story. The movie changed the story quite a bit so you’re the type of person who sees the movie first, you should still read the book. If you enjoyed the film, there’s definitely more to the story and you should read the book for all the scares and details.

Book Review: 5/5

Movie Review: 4/5


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The Author

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians is an advocate for geek girls everywhere. She runs the REAL GEEK GIRLS and REAL GEEK MOMS features. She's a writer, movie buff, and loves about 45 million shows. She's Captain America's biggest fan. Her alter-ego is BatKarin. Also, she loves Leonardo DiCaprio more than you do.