The Twenty-First Century

The Woman In Black [2012]

Here’s a solid spook house movie, mostly because “The Woman In Black” decides it can haunt an audience without spraying it with blood.Good idea. Daniel Radcliffe (his Potter days behind) is well cast as a young lawyer in early 20th century England who is still haunted by the death of his wife, in childbirth, four years ago. With a young boy to raise, he desperately takes on a thankless assignment, traveling to a small village and then to an even more remote old mansion outside of town, to go through a dead woman’s papers, before selling her house. That’s when things start to go bump in the night, as they should. The reasons you won’t slip into a coma watching this movie is that Radcliffe plays it for real and director James Watkins works you over like a pro.The film starts on a high note, and never resorts to cheap tricks, which is why it worked in my opinion. We are constantly on edge, as Radcliffe wanders around the estate, trying to uncover the mystery of this haunted house. To be completely honest, the last time I watched a chiller as creepy and atmospheric as this one was last year’s “Insidious”. The house definitely played an important role, with the terrifying dark rooms full  of cobwebs, dust and creepy toys. This is not to say that the film is without flaws. The story does take a while to take off, but once it does, you’re in for a treat. In a multiplex crammed with the forgettable “Carnage” and the God awful “Ghost Rider” sequel, “The Woman In Black” thinks we’ll be better served by a scare flick that can fry nerves and sends shivers down your spine in high style. I sure was.Well done Mr. Potter.

Rating: 3/4

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