Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Woman in Black

Today I saw The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Ciaran Hinds.

Arthur (Radcliffe) is a widower—his wife died giving birth to their son Joseph (Misha Handley) four years ago. He is a barrister now, who must succeed in his casework to stay employed.

He travels from London to a northern town in England to work on a case and is greeted in an unwelcome manner from the townsfolk. It seems that they believe a ghost in a nearby haunted house is killing off all of the children in the area, one by one.

Soon Arthur is swept up into this madness, befriended by the wealthy Daily (Hinds) and his wife. Because Arthur has to search for papers in the spooky home, he realizes that the superstitions have basis.

As far as horror films go, this one is very low on the scary meter. Though Radcliffe does a perfect job of conveying heart-pounding fear with every shadow he sees, there just aren't that many payoffs other than typical jumpy one-offs.

Hinds is also good at his earnest glances and cautious stares, but nothing inside the film made me worry about what was behind me in the theater, or rendered me unable to walk to my car, as other films have.

If this were marketed more as a psychological thriller/drama, perhaps I wouldn't have expected so much.

In any case, I'll see the mesmerizing Radcliffe in just about anything so this wasn't a total loss.


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