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(2012), PG-13 [R-13*] (89.3min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 23, 2012
May 25, 2012

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2012), PG-13 [R-13*] ... children being killed by suicide

Production (US): CBS Films, Cross Creek Pictures in association with Hammer Studios and Alliance Films a Talisman Production in association with Exclusive Media Group and The UK Film Council
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Director(s): James Watkins
Producer(s): Richard Jackson, Simon Oakes, Brian Oliver, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Tobin Armbrust, Marc Schipper, Neil Dunn, Xavier Marchand, Tyler Thompson, Roy Lee, Paul Ritchie, Ben Holden, Todd Thompson, Vic David, Sean Wheelan
Screenplay by: Jane Goldman
Based on the Novel by Susan Hill
Cinematography/Camera: Tim Maurice-Jones
Music: Marco Beltrami
Film Editing: Jon Harris
Casting: Karen Lindsay Stewart
Production Design: Kave Quinn
Art Direction: Kaye Grimble
Viewed on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

Harry Potter™ (Daniel Radcliffe) continues his cinematic life in both the unholy supernatural realm and in the R-13 realm. But this time he swish-n-flicks no wands and there is no Hermoine to protect him. Radcliffe is this time all grown up as Arthur Kipps and is not a sorcerer but a lawyer (though popular opinion may make the two indistinguishable).

Kipps is sent to a manor on Eel Marsh property to wade through a mountain of paperwork to settle the estate of the now deceased owner. Though warned a number of times about going to the Marsh, Kipps braves the urban legends because this is his last chance to make good at his job. Kipps lost his wife, Stella (Sophie Stuckey) at the birth of their son Joseph (Misha Handley). Kipps' grief has put his legal career in jeopardy.

It seems everyone in the small village is keeping a secret. A secret about Jennet (Liz White). Jennet is dead. She hung herself after her son was drowned in the marsh muck and no one tried to recover his body. Since then Jennet, rather the ghost of Jennet has been wreaking havoc on the townspeople's through the children.

The film starts with three young girls committing suicide by jumping out an attic window at the bequest of an unseen presence -- the Woman in Black. This scene sets the stage for the film ... children being killed by suicide.

But to give the content a little positivity, this PG-13 film is most atypical of the average PG-13 film in that it is not saturated with teens using profanity in every other sentence, having sex (more than once) and drinking/getting drunk.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 25 out of 100 Kipp contemplates suicide with a straight razor at his neck. Dead bodies are somewhat frequent. The film continuously presents a theme of doom. A little girl heaves blood and dies. A character nearly runs over several townspeople with his car. Reference is made to the suicide of an adolescent. Mothers are effectively shown in deep anguish for the loss of their children. The extrication of a young boy's body from the marsh portrays significant peril. And the decayed remains of a woman are seen.

Reminding our readers of God's Word about violence seems apropos here. God warns of embracing violence in many verses throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. Proverb 16:29 addresses the matter quite succinctly. Proverb 16:29 warns that violence is "catching": that violence can lead one into the path that is not good. Since God has "published His findings" about the influence of violence, man has done likewise by four professional public health agencies warning that viewing violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the observer, especially the young to real life violence and can cause the observer to believe that violence is an effective way to settle conflict.

One of the properties of violence is that one type of violence can embolden other types of violence. Viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children. It agitates the witness of it into a reduction of coping skills and leads to lashing out and desire for vengeance. Whether the violence is the type stirred up by seeing, for example, injury due to violent actions or being a victim of violence, the influence emboldens violent emotions and gives birth to aggression.

I will add here a margin note that the influence of "violence" in the above finding can be replaced with "arrogance/rebellion", "sexual irresponsibility", "profanity", etc. and the applicability of finding can still be solid and accurate. What this means regarding the violence of the type in this film is that it can transpose into other types of violence. And even further, "respect", "noble speech", "honesty" and any number of other positive character traits can likewise be inserted in place of "violence."

Impudence/Hate (I) - 96 out of 100
Only once was any profanity used. No other portrayals were noted which apply to this content investigation area.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
There was no sexually immoral behavior or imagery found throughout the 89.3 minutes of the program.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 37 out of 100
Kipps' boss clips a cigar. Several times alcoholic beverages of one kind or another are seen and drinking of them is seen.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) found that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The report entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    There is nothing to say that viewing smoking in and as entertainment does not carry the same danger of influence as viewing drinking. Actually, the same matter of behavior implantation applies to any behavior demonstrated in and as entertainment, including good behavior.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    The content of the film incorporated into the scoring by this investigation area is so extensive that to try to summarize it all in the space here would be unproductive. Please look to the listing in the Findings section for a complete accounting of the findings applicable to this investigation area.

    It might be advisable to remind our readers that God warns of communicating with or consulting the dead as is portrayed in this film. [Deut. 18:10 - 12]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 48 out of 100
    There are four suicides by little girls in this film and a woman committing suicide by hanging herself. Though the woman is "already dead" it is still self hanging. The little girl who drank lye, likely at the bequest of the woman in black, and then died may very well have been a suicide as well. One might ask "How is suicide a sin?" Suicide is murder ... murder of the self.



    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.]
  • Deut. 18:10 - 12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination [to seek knowledge of the future], or an observer of times [seeks knowledge of the future], or an enchanter [one who practices divination, observes the signs or omens], or a witch, Or a charmer [makes alliance with evil by charms], or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer [one who communicates with the dead]. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:... [God is so serious about embracing evil that it seems He would include embracing evil even in and as entertainment since it has been proven in so many ways that entertainment can and does influence deeply and contaminate values. Even God agrees with that. (See 1 Cor. 15:33 below).]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 - 10 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down. [The "destroyers form within" do not have to be army warriors. They can be the ones who destroy through corruption of moral standards as well, such as filmmakers who perpetuate desensitization against wholesome standards. They aren't going anywhere, folks. Not until Jesus comes again.]
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Woman in Black (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 25 out of 100
  • contemplating suicide with a straight razor to the neck
  • dead body (of wife who died at son's birth)
  • continuous theme of ominous doom
  • little girl heaving blood then dying
  • vehicular assault
  • reference to adolescent suicide
  • deep anguish at loss of loved one, repeatedly
  • extrication peril
  • decayed body of dead boy, repeatedly
  • decayed human remains in casket

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 96 out of 100
  • one use of profanity

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 37 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • cigar

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • unholy mental control of children, repeatedly
  • spiritist advertisement
  • unexplained appearances/disappearances, repeatedly
  • three uses of God's name in vain
  • unholy seizure
  • spiritism/talking to the dead throughout
  • unexplained/unholy presence, frequent
  • a wish another was condemned
  • unexplained happenings such as scratches of photo, empty rocking chair rocking, locked doors opening, frequent
  • body walking up out of the ground
  • disappearance of hand print on window pane
  • image of woman screaming in window pane
  • dead children standing with eyes open, repeatedly
  • unexplained sounds, repeatedly
  • image of dead boy covered in mud screaming
  • child oozing up through bed sheets
  • demonic possession
  • embracing communicating with the dead, frequent

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 48 out of 100
  • triple suicide by three young girls
  • image of dead woman hanging herself
  • young girl committing suicide by setting herself afire
  • another possible suicide by drinking lye (not incorporated into the scoring)

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
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