“The Woman in Black” is creepy good. With a tension-building musical score and clever lighting, the movie keeps the tingle going from scare to scare.
With an “all growed up” Daniel Radcliffe as the centerpiece of the movie, TWIB brings some old-fashioned fright. As opposed to many recent films that scare with outrageous CGI creatures and unbelievable settings, “Woman” takes us places we’ve all been. Darkened hallways, strange house noises, shadows in windows, late night door knocks, nervous dog barks, odd looks from strangers, sudden weird behavior from seemingly normal people—these occurrences in the movie help root the story in real life.
Radcliffe is Arthur Kibbs, an early 1900’s London attorney who is sent to a rural England town to go through a recently deceased woman’s papers. His job is to ascertain that the will his firm has is the correct one. Many of the townspeople give him dirty looks. Some discourage him from going to the woman’s home, a classic haunted house. Its location, on a hill, at the end of a long causeway, surrounded by a coastal marsh, adds to the mystique of the house.
When he arrives at the house, the spooky stuff begins. A favorite scene has Arthur exploring the upstairs of this haunted mansion. The creepy soundtrack music goes silent, allowing us to hear the creaks, pops and other vague noises that the house (and whoever else may be there) produces.
Arthur finds two useful allies in Mr. and Mrs. Daily, played by Ciaran Hinds and recent Oscar nominee Janet McTeer. They are rich enough to own the only car in town, but they share a particular sorrow with many others in the town.
Radcliffe, now 22, demonstrates that he is now old enough to grow whiskers and successfully portray a young adult. He’ll always be Harry, but he has a big future ahead that may someday equal his success of the past decade at Hogwarts.
If you’re a parent who allows kids younger than 13 to attend PG-13 movies like this one, take note. There are some scary elements that may engender nightmares and/or late night interruptions of your sleep by your troubled offspring.