The Woman in Black ****

Running time: 95mins Certificate 12A

Synopsis: A solicitor Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is sent to clear up the affairs of a recently deceased woman who lived in a remote house. When Arthur arrives he finds that the house and the nearby village have been terrorised by an entity.

Audiences were a bit skeptical about the Woman In Black, due to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe’s casting. But people will be impressed with his performance as Arthur, a young lawyer who is sent to the north of England to investigate a dead woman’s estate.

One criticism  is that Radcliffe appears too young for the role. At 22, he still appears very youthful and it is  hard to believe he was the widowed father of a 5 year old child. Putting that aside, he acted well in the film despite having a relatively small amount of dialogue.

While these days there is tendency to scare viewers using blood and guts, the Woman in Black made use of more traditional scare tactics. There were a few scenes in which objects that jumped out at the viewers, terror-filled screams and particularly the face of the title character will have many people clinging to their seats with hearts racing.

As the events unfold, the viewer can’t help but question why the villagers continued to live there if they had children. However the attitude of Arthur’s friend suggests there was still an element of disbelief amongst people in the village and those who had not experienced a loss still wanted to believe the deaths were co-incidence.

Dark, scary and entertaining, why do they not make more horror films in this vain. A classic return for Hammer and ghost story filmmaking at it’s best.

Reviewed by Lesley Watt

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