You probably want to know what it's about, right? Well, here goes. Oliver is having a chat with his old professor, Theo, who up until this moment hasn't mentioned the sinister painting hanging on his wall. In it, a group of masked revellers are frollicking on a Venice sidewalk. He points out a figure in the painting who seems to be struggling with a pair of thugs. He then tells Oliver how decades ago he bought it at an auction and how later he was summoned to an estate for a little talking to by an elderly lady.
Here Theo hands the mic to the old woman so she can tell her story. She tells him all about the painting and its dirty deeds. And now she wants it back. Theo refuses and here we are back in his apartment with Oliver. Theo should have given the thing back because the painting is far from finished its evil business.
I had some issues with this story. Why hang an evil picture up if you know it's evil? Why did he bring it up to Oliver at this point? Why did it take so long for the painting to finish what it started? And the villainess's reason for unleashing this force upon the world is a little out there. Relax, lady. I would have liked to know her crazy story. I also would have enjoyed the mystery of the painting more if Oliver had found out on his own instead of having it told to him by Theo, Theo having been told all about it himself by the original owner.
The best part of the story is the last few pages but I could see that ending coming a mile away. Overall I thought the plot could have been pulled from a Twilight Zone episode. A different approach to the story would have made it more interesting. Less talking, more doing.
So The Woman in Black = awesome. The Man in the Picture = meh.