The Woman In Black

The Woman In Black

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer
Director: James Watkins
Rating: 4/5

Now I have to admit that I am getting a little tired of all the gross out horror movies that we have been treated to in recent years and it's great to see an old fashioned horror movie finally hit the big screen.

Yes James Watkins has swapped the not very scary torture porn for a classic, creepy jump out of your seat horror movie - oh yes and did I mention that it's an adaptation of one of the most popular horror novels of out time?

Yes the Susan Hill novel of the same name is a much loved book in this genre and it's Jane Goldman, who has penned X-Men: First Class and Kick Ass most recently, who has been brave enough to take on the challenge of adapting this popular story.

Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.

Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover the town’s tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he discovers that local children have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances.

When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.

Ok now here is a warning to all you major lovers of the book there has been some artistic license taken here and they haven's stuck rigidly to the book.

However I think that works beautifully as the character of Arthur is given a real story arc throughout the movie as he struggles to come to terms with the premature death of his wife.

And while the end my be a tad Hollywood and no where near as tragic as the book I think it works really well for the story that Goldman & Watkins are trying to tell.

You can't talk about this movie without mentioning Daniel Radcliffe as he turns in a superb performance in his first post Potter role.

It's an incredibly mature and grown up performance from the British actor and when you the credits roll you will look at him in a completely different light.

He really does carry this movie, the middle section where it's just him in the house with no other actors to feed off is quite brilliant.

But what is so great about this movie is The Woman In Black is a real menace and a threat - something that she doesn't really have in the book; or it's something that is glossed over.

She is a terrifying figure who is haunting the locals by having a hand in the deaths of their children - and idea that strangely isn't explored in the original story.

This works really well in the context of the movie because she poses a genuine threat - not to mention that it's every parent's worst nightmare.

This is a good old fashioned horror movie that doesn't rely on guts and gore for scares - instead is chills you to the bone with images that are at the edge of the fame.

Watkins has delivered a movie that is dripping with unease and suspense and the way that he has shot the house has really turned it into a character in it's own right.

The Woman In Black is sinister and spooky from beginning to end and Radcliffe does deliver a great performance.

The Woman In Black is released 10th February

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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