Daniel Radcliffe may forever be in the shadow of Harry Potter
despite what movie he makes. Some will think of THE WOMAN IN BLACK as the film where Harry Potter gets spooked.
He plays Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer and father of one, who takes a job to finish up the paperwork at the
eerie Eel Marsh house in the British countryside. This job is a last ditch effort to save his career. He finds
himself in a small town where the locals don't want him to stay as they're worried that their kids will die at the hands
of a ghostly woman in black. Kipps is determined to do his job and soon finds that the house has a story to tell.
He uncovers the story of a woman separated from her son by her sister and the kid died in the mud. The house
is on an island of sorts where the tides come in and covers up the road to the house. Kipps tries to put the matter
to rest while the woman in black may have other plans.
WOMAN IN BLACK is one of the new films that are trying to resurrect Hammer Films as a film studio. The film features
a screenplay by Jane Goldman (STARDUST, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) which is adapted from a novel by Susan Hill. It is
a very atmospheric horror film which relies on shadows, bumps in the nights, and the little details. If you're expecting
a gore fest, you want to lock elsewhere. THE WOMAN IN BLACK is more a of a haunted house thriller/ supernatural
mystery. Daniel Raddcliffe pulls off his role as a sad father who misses his son and the wife he lost when she gave
birth to their son.
Ciaran Hinds plays Kipps' wingman in a way.
Hinds' character, Daily, feels sympathy for Kipps and wants to accept Kipps while providing help to him. Daily
and his wife (Janet McTeer) lost their son years ago. Daily isn't a believer to the superstitions the locals believe
in. Hinds plays Daily as a haunted man who is trying his best to put the specters of the past
behind him. I could imagine Daily sees Kipps as the type of man his own son would have grown up to be. Maybe
he thinks he can help Kipps get past his own past loss and not be so haunted by it. Kipps is so wanting to connect
with the spirit of his wife while Daily doesn't want to believe in such stuff, but maybe Daily feels he wants to make sure
Kipps is safe as he leaves his dog with Kipps one day when Kipps goes to the house again.
I hope THE WOMAN IN BLACK is the first of
many films that will herald the return of a film studio that delivered classic horror films in the 1960s and 1970s.
THE WOMAN IN BLACK is a well written and acted atmospheric horror film which I recommend you see. You will never
feel the same about seeing creepy women ghosts in black dresses ever again. It makes me feel like I want to return home
if I ever ended up in a house haunted by a ghost like the one in THE WOMAN IN BLACK.
this movie review is (c)2-7-2011 David Blackwell
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