The Woman in Black Ending Explained & Film Analysis

Why the heroine of the thriller movie killed Arthur Kipps? The Woman in Black (2012): plot summary, explanation of the ending, the meaning of the film, detailed analysis.

Country: UK, Canada, USA, Sweden

Genre: horror, thriller, drama

Year of production: 2012

Director: James Watkins

Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White

tagline: “Don’t look at her”

The film by James Watkins, based on the book by the English writer Susan Hill, is a classic “gothic horror” that returns the viewer to the origins of the genre. The plot and meaning of the film “The Woman in Black” (The Woman in Black) can not be called too original. But at the same time, this chilling story is saturated with drama. Therefore, it is definitely not an ordinary “horror story for the night”.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the content of the film “The Woman in Black”. England, late 19th century. The protagonist of the picture, a young lawyer Arthur Kipps, alone brings up his son Joseph – his wife died in childbirth.

On behalf of his office, he travels to the county of Gifford, to the funeral of the last mistress of the estate of Il Marsh, Mrs. Drablow. His main task is to deal with her papers and find a will. On the train, the young man meets Sam Daly, who transparently hints that Arthur is going to a rather strange and gloomy place. Soon Kipps is convinced that he is right.

Daniel RadcliffeDaniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps. Frame from the film.

The estate is notorious in the area. Locals do not like it and try to avoid it. It’s all about a terrible legend: many years ago, Mrs. Drablow’s little son drowned in the local swamps. The body of the child was never found, and after a while, children began to die among the villagers under very strange circumstances. The superstitious inhabitants of Gifford County believe that a terrible ghost is to blame – they call her the Woman in Black.

Arriving at the place, Arthur turns to the local lawyer for help. He also makes it clear that he should have left the village in good health. However, Arthur is not going to leave: having unraveled the case of Mrs. Drablow, he will be promoted. Having gone to the estate, he plans to find out what is happening on the spot. The rational Kipps does not believe in ghosts, but they do exist: the sinister Woman in Black lives in the dark bowels of a gloomy house.

Arthur’s new acquaintances, Sam Daly and his wife Elizabeth, also once lost a child. Elizabeth sincerely believes that their son is still in contact with her, and Sam is convinced that this is just superstitious nonsense.

At the estate, Arthur finds Mrs. Drablow’s private letters. After studying them, he learns the history of the Woman in Black. During her lifetime, her name was Janet, and she had lost her son, Nathaniel, twice in the past. First, she gave him up for adoption to her sister, Mrs. Drablow, and then he died in an accident – the carriage in which the boy was traveling with his adoptive mother turned over and he drowned in a swamp. It could have been saved, but Mrs. Drablow chose to save the property. The real mother of the boy in her letters openly accused her sister of his death and swore that she would “never forgive”. Nobody and nothing.

Kieran HindsThe role of Sam Daly was played by Ciarán Hinds. Frame from the film.

Young Kipps, who himself lost a dear person, is ready to sincerely sympathize with her, but the terrible ghost (the hero soon becomes convinced of his existence) does not require pity – he exudes hatred and evil. The meaning of Janet’s posthumous existence was revenge. For many years she has been wandering the swamps and strangely affecting children – as if under hypnosis, they commit suicide.

The number of child suicides has reached such proportions that the inhabitants of the county live in constant tension. In particular, this explains their unfriendly attitude towards visitors.

Arthur had previously written to his son’s nanny, Adelaide, to bring him the child. He suddenly realizes that Joseph may also be in the zone of attention of a vengeful ghost. However, it is too late to warn Adelaide – they are probably already on their way …

So Kipps starts to act. Toward the end of the film, he finds the body of the deceased Nathaniel, takes him to the estate and waits for the arrival of the Woman in Black. She really appears with a piercing scream, and after a few seconds disappears. With the help of Sam, Kipps buries the boy’s body in Janet’s grave and breathes a sigh of relief – he is sure that the terrible spirit has finally found peace.

The Woman in Black Ending explanation

Explanation of the ending of the picture. At the end of the film, the hero goes to the train station to meet Adelaide and Joseph. Suddenly the boy sees the Woman in Black and goes straight to the tracks. The train is coming. Arthur, alarmed by the sudden disappearance of his son, also sees a ghost. Kipps rushes after Joseph, but does not have time to save him – both are run over by a train. After that, both find themselves in the other world and Arthur sees a young woman approaching them. Kipps’ heart skips a beat – it’s his wife…

The finale of the picture has two interpretations. According to one of them, Janet thanked Arthur in this way. He returned her beloved son to her, she gave him back his wife, without whom he suffered greatly. Some viewers in their analysis of the film saw something completely different. The fact is that even during her lifetime, Janet was completely absorbed in the idea of ​​​​revenge. Once she vowed to “never forgive” and, probably, is not going to go back on her word.

The meaning of the ending of the film “The Woman in Black” is that during her lifetime the unfortunate woman was too saturated with hatred and resentment. She remained the same after death, and getting Nathaniel after so many years was not enough for her.

She really thanked the person who could help her in her own way. Moreover, Arthur rushed to save the child and died himself at the same time, so the whole family was reunited in a better world. But nothing and never will calm the Woman in Black herself. She remained forever in the swamps near the cursed estate …

Janet McTeerJanet McTeer as Mrs. Daly. Frame from the film.

The meaning of the film The Woman in Black

There are no sudden twists or hidden meanings in the plot of The Woman in Black. This is a sad and terrible story about hatred and revenge that can destroy the personality and soul.

One of the important roles here is played by an old, dilapidated estate, lost somewhere on the outskirts of the county. It is surrounded by mysterious mysteries, and the atmosphere of the swampy region inspires genuine horror. The protagonist hears vague rustles, terrible creaks and wanders in the fog, which seems to cut him off from the outside world…

One of the features of the picture was the subtle transfer of the feeling of impending disaster. The mystical and otherworldly present here does not reveal its secrets and is not going to share them with those who stand in its way. It spares no one. Excuses and explanations should not be expected from him either. It just is. And it exists according to its own laws.

Arthur Kipps is a random person. He is no worse and no better than those around him, and certainly he is not guilty of the tragedy in the swamp. However, the curse of the Woman in Black overtakes him. The point is that it is pure evil. Anyone who intentionally or through negligence gets in his way will not escape trouble.

The ending of the picture is tragic and logical. It is possible, of course, to assume that the vengeful Janet helped Arthur, but it is also possible that the absolute evil embodied in her simply killed both him and Joseph. They were probably saved from posthumous wandering through the swamps by the fact that the hero tried to save the boy at the cost of his life – no one protected the other dead children.

What is the essence of the film? Probably because some events change people irrevocably. Some consciously cultivate a wolf in their soul. They cherish and cherish him, poisoning the lives of others.

Ciarán Hinds, Daniel RadcliffeCiarán Hinds as Sam Daly, Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps. Frame from the film.

Similar films

Here are a few films similar in meaning to “The Woman in Black”:

  • Mother! (Canada, Spain, Mexico, 2013). A young married couple adopts young relatives left orphans. Together with them, a terrible ghost of their dead mother comes to their house.
  • Astral (USA, 2010). Husband and wife Josh and Rene move into a new home with their children. A few days later, their son falls into a coma and “knowledgeable people” say that he is in contact with the other world.
  • Sinister (USA, UK, Canada, 2012). A young man moves to a small town and settles in a house in which a year ago someone killed the whole family. Soon, frightening events begin to occur in the house.
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