The Harry Potter tag is going to hang around Daniel Radcliffe’s head for a well but here in The Woman In Black, he does a good job of moving away from the boy wizard.
The Woman In Black tells the tale of Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe), a young widower and solicitor on the brink of losing his job as he tries to look after his four year old son. A last chance for Kipps to redeem himself at work means he must leave his son with a nanny while he travels out of London to a remote coastal village to sort a local woman’s last will and testament. On the train to his destination, he meets Daily, a wealthy village resident who becomes his ally in an otherwise superstition riddled place.
The Woman In Black is a remake of a TV movie based on a book, here the screenplay by Jonathan Ross’ missus, Jane Goldman, brings a good old fashioned ghost story to life. If you’re expecting an all out horrorthon you won’t get that. Director, James Watkins, has gone for an old fashioned distinct lack of CGI or flashy effects in the story rather using camera angles and sounds to build tension and anticipation.
This is a beautiful told story and although it isn’t actually that scary, Watkins uses the setting of the old house and its shadows to full effect. Add a really nice grading and soundscape and Watkins’ movie is very much an old style suspense thriller, reminding this viewer of my earliest memories of The Twilight Zone. The story was beautifully visually driven, there wasn’t really that much dialogue in it but when there was, it was only to drive the story on.
I can’t say enough good things about this, it won’t scare the pants off you but it’s a really good story. Thoroughly enjoyable and a great way for Radcliffe to start his post Hogwarts career. Go see it!