The Woman in Black

Book vs. Movie

The Woman in Black (book)   The Woman in Black (movie)

This title seemed to be a good one to review in October.  Talk about a huge difference between the two!  Claiming that the movie was “based” on the novel by Susan Hill, was definitely truthful.  The film’s producers basically took the idea of the story and then created their own version from it.  I am not saying that one is better than the other—actually, the onscreen rendition was perhaps more chilling and eerie than the book (which, maybe it should be).  They were both very good in their own way, however, there are obvious discrepencies.  First off, in the novel, Arthur Kipps is not widowed at the time he visits Eel Marsh House.  In fact, he doesn’t even have his son yet.  Kipps is also not forced to be the solicitor to the late Mrs. Drablow.  Rather, it is a job given to him to help prove his worth and perhaps get him a promotion.  When Kipps sees the “Woman in Black” in the book, children do die in Crythin Gifford but in the movie, it is as if she has control over the children’s actions and persuades them to committ suicide.  In the novel, the Daileys have a son who has not died and they are just as superstitious as the rest of the town.  In the film, Kipps finds out facts about the Drablows in a different fashion from what we read in Hill’s work.  He also tries to reunite the Woman in Black with her dead son, unlike the book.  Might I add that even the story of  how she herself died, is not the same.  Without giving anything away, I’d like to mention that the endings of both are completely varied and if this makes sense to say, the novel’s conclusion is actually more horrifying than the movie’s.  In any case, if you wanted to know whether you should read it or see it, my opinion would be to do both because they approach the “legend” in dissimilar ways—almost as if they are alternate storylines (you decide which one you prefer).  It is kind of like when one reads various versions of a fairy tale.  I will certainly agree that they are equally entertaining and will succeed in giving you goose bumps.  Does anyone else think otherwise?

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