What did they see?
Lucy May Barker
Running Time: 95 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A
Country: Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom
Similarly when Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint stared in amiable Brit-com Wild Target with an attempt at facial hair, it is weird seeing Rowling’s foster kids trying to get into meaty roles. Let’s face it, Danny Radcliffe generally comes across as a bit of a goon and you can never see him acting the socks off co-stars but I was ready to give The Woman in Black a chance.
The Woman in Black is a classic Victorian haunted house horror which sees young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) goes to stay at in a remote village. Whilst there he begins to notice some strange goings-on that might have something to do with the ghost of a scorned woman who might possibly be dressed in black.
James Watkins’ movie isn’t all that bad actually. The are plenty of bladder-voiding scares that this kind of movie should provide with most of them of the “Diddly dee, I’m just walking alo… FECK, what’s that?” nature, maybe too many perhaps as you begin to spot them before they arrive. Basically , it’s a scary movie for tweenagers where you wouldn’t be afraid to take your kids to put some metal into them and where you know there won’t be intestines flying all over the place.
In fact, it nearly succeeds in spite of Radcliffe not because of him. He never really gets you to feel for the young widower (a passive character anyway so not all his fault) and he takes each scare that comes his way with barely a moved facial muscle but merely a look of mildy disturbed constipation. Also, why doesn’t he just go home? There is no conceivable reason why he’s still hanging round the house ninety minutes later. Anyway, the jury is still out on young Danny Boy.
It's Got: Plenty of mini-scares, a woman in black
It Needs: A more charismatic lead character and actor playing him, a semi-naked American teen running screaming through a forrest
This hasn’t made Daniel Radcliffe any cooler but it’s a serviceable haunted house horror that you wouldn’t stop your tweenage kids going to see.