'The Woman in Black' (PG-13) (3 STARS)
Writer: Jane Goldman based on the novel by Susan Hill
Director: James Watkins
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Misha Handley, Roger Allam
"The Woman in Black" is a throwback to those old British haunted house/ghost stories that were not particularly scary but very creepy. "The Woman in Black" looks breathtaking and that house is beautiful, the art direction is impeccable. Looking at this bleak, grey movie you can actually feel the cold, damp air hitting you in the face. The scare quotient in this movie isn't high for I really was never scared but I had fun watching it and it held my interest throughout.
Daniel Radcliffe, now done with Harry Potter, is solid as Arhur Kripps who is a young Victorian lawyer. He is sent to a haunted house in North England to settle the affairs and go over some papers belonging to it's now dead occupant. That occupant's children had died in that house thus it is haunted. Arthur stays in town and then winds up staying in the house as many things pop out at him including a woman in black and a plethora of children.
The movie is no great shakes in the scare department for I jumped maybe once and could predict when the scares would come. There is a lot of slow tracking shots over Radcliffe's shoulder and then something will jump out at him. It is like going on a haunted house ride and that is why it is fun. It is definitely an old school British type movie with weird characters and towns people staring at Arthur because he is an intruder don't you know. There is also the creepy house which looks damn great here and and the proper looking but dead little girls who are now ghosts.
Radcliffe is good here and I love the supporting actors here especially the wonderful Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer fresh from her Oscar nominated turn in "Albert Nobbs". They have a delightful and creepy and weird scene when Arthur comes to their house for dinner that was a lot of fun. Again I love the look of this movie and I reccomend it on the big screen to see the house and the creepy outside on the big screen. "The Woman in Black" is not really scary (This week's "Chronicle" is actually scarier) but it is an effective mood piece that will have you creeped out. Oh and I love the just right and perfect ending which fits this kind of movie well.