The Woman In Black (2012 – Cinema)

I believe the most rational mind can play tricks in the dark”

There has been some suggestions that Daniel Radcliffe looks too young to play widowed Lawyer Arthur Kipps in the new adaptation of ‘The Woman In Black’. After watching it last night I totally disagree, in his tight collared Edwardian suit with sleeves rolled up, guttering candle in one hand and axe brandished in the other, he is every bit the classic Hammer Horror lead.  In his first post-Potter role he displays considerable chops, after all he has to carry the film single-handed for about two dialogue free thirds of the running time.  However Ciarán Hinds does tower over Radcliffe (And everyone else) is his small role as Kipps sole confederate. When, oh when are they gonna give Hinds a lead role, I’ve admired him ever since his masterful portrayal of Caesar in HBO’s criminally cancelled ‘Rome’.

The plot of Susan Hill’s story is a familiar trope as an emotionally damaged Lawyer spends the night at a haunted mansion surrounded by superstitious country folk. Director James Watkins creates a brooding, oppressive atmosphere by using every angle, edit, sound and music cue.  He even uses some of the creepiest china dolls in the history of the demonic, smiling, glass-eyed toys to throughly ‘weird you out’.  One shock involving the lady of the title and a reflection succeeded in making me jump from my seat and exclaim “Oh dear!”.  I then had a grin and a chuckle, as part of that curious pleasure when a Horror film ‘gets you’.  ‘The Woman In Black’ probably isn’t going to go down in history as one the greatest films ever made but it’s a damn fine way to spend a couple of spooky hours.

 

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