Directed by: James Watkins
PG-13. 94 mins
A moody, beautifully produced ghost story that isn’t interested in providing the typical gory thrills seen on modern-day movie screens. Instead, audiences are treated to a much more classical approach, which will win some, and lose some.
Adapted from Susan Hill’s bestselling novel, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) plays troubled lawyer Arthur Kipps, who is struggling to move forward after the death of his wife and raise is young son alone in Victorian-era England. Fearing he may lose his job, Arthur volunteers to travel to a remote village on the coast of Northern England in order to organize the paperwork of a deceased client whose mansion is rumoured to be haunted. With his mutton chops, pocket watch and tailored jacket, Arthur doesn’t fit in with the locals and it would appear that it isn’t just the living who are growing hostile. Arthur continues to hear rumours of a vengeful ghost that haunts the village and while he was skeptical at first, strange occurrences – namely the sudden deaths of the local children – lead Arthur to believe that the danger is very real for both him, and his little boy. As the ghost of a sinister woman continues to terrorize the locals, Arthur must scramble to uncover the mystery before it’s too late.
Directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake), the film boasts some lush production and art direction – the looming mansions, creaking corridors and foggy nights are all satisfying throwbacks to a much simpler horror film. Unfortunately, the story – and a pretty ridiculous one at that – moves terribly slow. We see Radcliffe roam the same hallways over and over, uncovering nothing remarkably engaging but for a few creepy noises and the odd jump-scare. This could be a watchable horror flick for those who would prefer to be creeped out rather than grossed out, but even still – this is one ghost that just isn’t all that memorable. The Woman In Black is quietly expressive and visually intriguing, but key elements like plot and character feel dreary and lifeless.