Review: The Woman in Black

Anybody who knows me knows I love a good gothic horror flick. The more shadows and fog shrouded landscapes and superstitious townspeople the better; and this movie has all that and more in spades. When watching the opening credits and seeing the name of Hammer Studios any true horror fan knows a treat lies ahead.

Carrying the full weight of this film is Daniel Radcliffe in his first major film role after graduating from Hogwarts, and he still has all the talent that he displayed when slinging a wand around in this movie as well. Joining him in the supporting cast is the gifted character actor, Ciaran Hinds as his only confident in the small town which looks like it came right out of a Universal Monsters flick. Radcliffe plays a lawyer struggling as a single parent while his career is in poor shape; in order to restore his status at the law firm he must take care of the affairs of a client who died and her records are held up in her ominous island mansion.

Unfortunately for him the island is haunted by the woman in black and every time she has ever been sighted by anybody a child in the village dies a horribly violent and over the top death. At the heart of it all lies a mystery about horrible accident and the ghostly woman’s own tragic past. The scares the film provides are nothing new, but when they come they come fast and keep the audience on their toes, and the tension and bleak atmosphere don’t hurt much either. And I must say it was fun seeing one of my favorite horror tricks that is seldom used; the lack of a score to amp up tension which makes every footstep and every creak of the floorboards that much eerier. Where the movie fails in terror it makes up for in entertainment, when Radcliffe is in the house the film throws everything but the kitchen sink at you in a way that would make William Caslte proud. Very worth a matinee viewing especially with a good crowd.