Director: James Watkins
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Roger Allam, Sophie Stuckey, Shaun Dooley, Liz White, David Burke, Alisa Khazanova, Victor McGuire, Ciaran Hinds
Synopsis: Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a widowed lawyer leaves his son in London to settle the legal affairs of the recently deceased Alice Drablow. But upon his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret. Although the towns people try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost… and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.
Review: There is a story behind every event, happy or sad. All it needs is a wee-bit of compassion and empathy to gauge the cause and effect. When the Woman in Black was being written by author Susan Hill with a great amount of imagination and diligence, little must she have thought of how wonderfully the book would be first adapted into a television series (ran for only a short while) and then the film, starring wonder boy, Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, who rose to fame with the Harry Potter series and stands to be one of the most famous child actors.
This film, however, has him playing the role of a grieving widower who senses his dead wife as Stella Kipps played by Sophie Stuckey around him all the time, also the reason why he doesn’t warm up to his son (his godson in real life) as much as he would have wished for.
The role has been crafted for a man who has denunciated the world until he breathes his last one day. Although, this was a quite a lot to expect from a boy who we practically saw grow up in front of our eyes, in the movie series. The film is well-made with spine-chilling horror all at the right places. Doors swing open and bang shut, shadows appear and vanish like smoke, the tricks with the light are very good. If a horror film does not scare you out of your wits, it hasn’t achieved its purpose.
Although, the story was quite predictable, it still managed to leave many questions unanswered, that is, from the point of view of a rationally thinking person, to get an answer for every ‘why’. Cut to the chase, the film’s screenplay has been adapted from the novel by the same name but not copied completely, which in this case, is a safe proposition. There was ample scope to play around with the locales and places of shooting. Very vintage, almost out of The Elizabethan Era where the ghost also wears a gown and a veil. The Eel Marsh House is beautifully built, very artsy and remotely situated yet eerily attractive.
The Woman in Black has been artfully crafted and completely capable of horrifyingly getting etched in your minds. The only bothersome thought however, was the reason why “The Woman in Black” was so vengeful to kill innocent people unrelated (it looked like that throughout) to her pain. Nonetheless, a good transition for Daniel Radcliffe. He should now start experimenting with varied characters and roles as opposed to playing a scorned character with a painful past. A rom-com to start with probably?
Verdict: One of the few good watches this weekend… Don’t forget to buy a tub of popcorn so you don’t end up biting all your nails off!