Dir. James Watkins
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Beware young Harry Potter fans – the boy who lived now finds himself in much darker territory… Daniel Radcliffe does his best ‘grown up’ face starring as noobie lawyer Arthur Kripps. His life has not been a happy one - his wife died in childbirth and his son is prone to doing sad drawings of them, but things can only pick up right?
Things don’t pick up, in fact they get very creepy and generally a bit grim when Kripps is dispatched to a remote northern village to sort out the paperwork of a deceased widow who has left a huge gothic mansion… The locals aren’t a friendly bunch – as it seems they are haunted by a spectral ghostly ‘Woman in Black’ has been appearing. This woman shaped ghoul is an omen of doom and when she is seen a child dies in the village…
"The Jehovah's Witness got cross at not being let in"
Radcliffe does OK in the lead role, but most of the time he just has to look a bit mystified and / or scared. The rest of the cast are decent enough too and the special effects work well. The main ‘haunted house’ is a masterpiece of spook-em-up design and comes with the most sinister selection of evil looking toys ever to be assembled in one place.
"he who shall not be named..."
Yes The Woman in Black is absolutely chock full of horror movie genre clichés but they are thrown at the screen with such force that you can happily suspend your disbelief and lap up the screaming banshee wails, the terrified yelps and the whimpering that will be coming at you in ‘surround sound’ – mostly from the various young Harry Potter fans who have never witnessed a real horror movie before!?
3 – Darkness and creepiness by the book
Awesomeness ööö – Potter 2.0
Laughs ö – not funny
Horror ööö – some mildly ghastly bits
Babes ö – not really
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – some spirits are not to be trusted!?