Don’t go chasing after shadows – The Woman in Black Review

When I first saw the trailer for The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliff, I knew I somehow had to go see it. The trailer was sufficiently creepy and left me wondering what it’s about. After much cajoling, I convinced someone to take me Saturday night.

The Woman in Black is (surprise!) another adaptation from a novel by Susan Hill of the same name. This is your basic haunted house flick with a protagonist who doesn’t have the sense to pack up and leave after a series of mysterious sightings. Eel House Mansion itself is sufficiently creepy but where you’re left wondering is why would anyone care to watch Arthur Kipps(Radcliff) clomps about a creepy old house for over an hour trying to figure out the circumstances behind the strange deaths of the town’s children through the years.

Arthur is a widowed lawyer struggling to prove to his boss that his grief hasn’t hindered his ability to do his job and takes the case of settling Alice Drablow’s estate. Upon arriving in Crythin Gifford, Arthur befriends Daily (Ciarán Hinds), a local who doesn’t buy into the whole Woman in Black thing, despite the mysterious and unexplained death of his only son, Nicholas.

One of the main problems with this movie is never once are you concerned for Arthur as it’s obvious that his life is never in danger from the Woman in Black who only preys on children.

I wasn’t sure how Radcliff (Harry Potter) was going to leave Hogwarts and his wand behind and was afraid that all I could ever see him as is Harry. Alas, I wasn’t wrong. It seems as though the casting for this film was done all wrong. It could be the fact that Radcliff just looks young but there was nary a young person in the film. Aside from the doomed children, that is.

Despite the created atmosphere for a haunting story, the plot was flimsy at best and the build up to the full frame shots of the scorned woman was the only thing that got our hearts racing. I would’ve improved on this supernatural “thriller” by injecting a bit of Supernatural in the ending. It all could’ve been saved had he just burned her bones, thereby severing her ties to the living world.

images from Google images.