Directed by James Watkins
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds
Having studied this classic for my drama final piece last year – The Woman in Black is one ghost story that I have been forced to get familiar with. Originally written by Susan Hill, this famous novel was later adapted into an incredible play by Stephen Mallatratt. And now, the story has been revamped once more onto the silver screen for a whole new demographic.
The story itself follows the young lawyer, Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) to the village of Crythin Gifford in order to sort through the affairs of the late Alice Drablow at Eel Marsh House. However it soon becomes apparent that the house holds some spooky secrets that terrorise the villagers and Kipps vows to resolve them.
As far as horrors go, The Woman in Black meets expectations. Radcliffe has managed to shake off his Hogwarts robes (no Equus pun intended!) and, in my opinion, is well on his way to establishing himself as an actor in his own right. The movie provides some genuine jumpy moments but sadly goes for the deliberate loud noise thrills as opposed to a more sophisticated psychological scare. However given the certificate, this is not surprising and it did evoke a fair few shrieks from the viewing party.
Towards the end it all becomes a bit repetitive and predictable but that is weighed out by the solid performance by Hinds and the adorable young child actor who plays Kipps’ son. On top of this, the opening scene is hauntingly striking and gets the film off to a promising start.
As a stand alone film, without reference to the book or play, The Woman In Black succeeds in scaring the audience and is no doubt entertaining. However, in comparison to the West End play – it misses a crucial point: that imagining the unknown is often more terrifying than the reality.
Have Your Say: Did you think the fear factor was a bit much for the 12A family rating? Please feel free to voice your opinion by commenting on this post.