This The Woman In Black is and old hooter as an old fashined horror story. In which being over 10 years old is not always a good thing. This Hammer imprint since 1979 was filled with enjoyable deep dark shadows, creepy noises, haunted attics, unwelcoming villages, now-you-see-them now-you-don’t appropriation’s and also shrieking music cues for them to make them look ‘new’ again, or atleast for Daniel Radcliffe fans to dribble over. Unusual for the first time actor to face out into an adult film after leaving Hogwarts, it should keep a healthy watch on the CBS films release. The good news is though that the former Harry Potter role has carried out the act of Kipp rather well. Based on Susan Hill’s 1982 novel had this film in the making. In which the London stage act with 2 actors has been running since 1989, in making it the second longest play in the history of the West End, after The Mousetrap.
The first children to go are young sisters who abruptly playing with there dolls and as if possessed then plunge into the air out of the top windows of their room. Then we then see widower Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) bidding farewell to his young son Joseph (Misha Handley) before leaving on a business trip, but the audience cant help feel uneasy on the young boys life expectancy.
So stricken remains Mr. Kipps over the death at child birth of his wife, that he hasnt yet performed well on his job as a lawyer. His just new assignment was his last chance on keeping his possition at the office: He is to resolve all the remaining affairs of a widow who has recently died at a remote country estate, including trying to sell the old pile.
Easier said than done, once he gets a look at it. Located at the end of a long road way off the mainland, Eel Marsh House can be reached only at particular times of day, as the tides wash over the road at certain hours. Initially, he’s meant to stay at the little inn at the village of Crythin Gifford, where the residents have all the charm of the rural fellows in Straw Dogs.But even a haunted house seems preferable to the inn’s attic, the very room from which the young sisters had jumped to their death.
Only one local seems nice, Daily (Ciaran Hinds, who appeared opposite Radcliffe in the final Potter installment), a landed gent whose deranged wife (Janet McTeer) dines with dogs at the table since the accidental death (is there any other kind?) of their son some years back.
Common sense might dictate that Kipps board with the Dailys from now on. But, no, he’s got to be where the action is, at the mansion, a place with lots of doors that needs to be dimly lit by candles to look right. Once led into the house, Kipps reads old correspondence revealing the unfortunate fate of the child of the lady of the house, although his absorption in past horrors is interrupted by contemporary ones in the village, where it’s a wonder any inhabitants remain at all, given the youth mortality rate.
Working from Jane Goldman’s compact, well-judged adaptation, director James Watkins (Eden Lake) shows he well knows what he’s doing: The genre has certain requirements and he honors them, with sincerity and style. The hooded spectral title character keeps appearing — in windows, at a distance, present in a room and then not, always elusive — and the director is not ashamed to go all the way in having Kipps poke his nose in rooms and dark places where most rational people, or any who had seen haunted house movies, would not step.
Happily, Watkins steers clear of indulging in modern horror tropes, especially where gore and vulgarity are concerned. In most respects other than technical expertise, this is a film that essentially could have been made in Hammer’s heyday back in the 1950s, as well as one that Radcliffe’s Potter fans can enjoy.
The actor, it must be said, is perfectly good, credible as a young father and capable of holding the screen by himself for a long period, as required by his character’s isolation. The only issue one might raise is his persistent facial stubble, something quite out of step with the early 20th century period.
Hinds and McTeer add weighty support as the area’s most eminent residents. The locations, particularly the marshland area of the house, and production design are memorable, with both evoked attentively by Tim Maurice-Jones’ cinematography. Marco Beltrami’s score effectively augments the tension and atmosphere.
And the ending is wonderful — perfect, in fact.