Friday, February 3, 2012


Still from The Woman in Black
In his first starring role since the completion of the Harry Potter Franchise, all eyes will be on star Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black. The Adaptation of the Novel of the same name by Susan Hill from second-time Director James Watkins, has Radcliffe as a young widowed Lawyer named Arthur Kipps struggling to make ends meet for his frail young Son, Joseph (Mischa Handley).  Sent off to a remote Village to settle the affairs of a deceased Alice Drablow, Arthur learns that its people have been terrorized by the Ghost of a Woman.

Crippled with fear, Parents of the Village are forced to hold their Children captive inside their own homes.  Every time the Woman in Black - Jennet Humfrye (played by Liz White) - is seen, a Child is known resultantly to die.  After spending one terrifying night in the Drablows' home, Arthur then unravels parts of the mystery behind the scorned Woman in Black's deadly motives.  Will he be able to appease her and liberate the Villagers of her haunting presence, or will he too succumb to her as many have before?

Beautifully-shot The Woman in Black is modest in its ambitions and doesn't aim to re-invent the Genre. Instead, it does its best to tell a classically haunting tale without the gimmicks and more importantly, terrify its audience.  And scary it is indeed, craftily keeping much of the horror off-screen and up to one's imagination with an imminent sense of terror dangling overhead.  Moments of the Film admittedly do feel familiar and predictable - empty rocking chairs and creepy chiming wind-up dolls included - but alas, all is tied-up believably unlike many other titles in the genre by that all-too-crucial resolve.  

One thing I might add though is that the heart of the Story ultimately is made of the undying love between Parent and Child and perhaps Watkins could have allotted a bit more towards this. We forget at times that Arthur is a Father amidst his playing Lawyer/Detective/Ghost Expunger. Nonetheless, so much of The Woman in Black is about the fine committed performance from Radcliffe - including an  unenviable extended scene with Sam Daily (Ciarán Hinds) in disgustingly greasy, muddy waters. Fans, many who are old enough now to enjoy a proper Horror, will not be disappointed.  Alliance Films releases the Horror on February 3, 2012.