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Movie Reviews

The Woman in Black



womaninblack_posterReleased: 10th February 2012 (UK)

Director: James Watkins

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer

Certificate: 12A

Reviewer: Ben Harris

Thanks to Susan Hill’s spine-tingling novel and the hugely successful stage play, The Woman in Black has already made her presence felt for many years. Feeling the need to explore the ghostly figure further, screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) and director James Watkins (Eden Lake) tackle its cinematic outing with simplicity.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a lawyer who travels to a remote village to handle the estate of a deceased Alice Drablow. Kipps’ presence is frostily unwelcome and it soon becomes clear the village is being terrorised by a very unhappy entity.

Set, for the most part, in a dark and derelict house, The Woman in Black steadily builds suspense and effortlessly unsettles its audience, although it has its moments of unoriginality and frustration – predictable jump scares – its vision of the menacing spirit is spine-chillingly good.

Watkins’ grand direction and old-school approach works wonderfully and, considering the huge pressure upon his shoulders, Radcliffe gives a mature performance as a young widower and father. He certainly holds his own alongside a great supporting cast, including the superb Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer.

Its nothing ground breaking but The Woman in Black is atmospheric, creepy and welcomes a formulaic narrative with open arms.

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