Woman in Black (12A)
Daniel Radcliffe’s The Woman in Black sets British horror record.
Based on the classic ghost story by Susan Hill, The Woman In Black tells the tale of Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.
Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he finds that local children have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances. When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.
The Woman in Black is a film of contradictions. Despite a relatively low film certificate, allowing children to see it at the cinema, it is genuinely scary, with a surprisingly high body count (unusually for a horror film, most of the victims are children). The film shouldn’t work as well as it does – haunted houses are nothing new on screen – yet The Woman in Black is a fresh and pleasingly macabre return to old-fashioned scares. The film bears the influence of previous British ghost stories. The children-in-peril theme recalls Jack Clayton’s marvellous The Innocents, while there are echoes of The Haunting. The MR James adaptations of the 1970s TV Ghost Stories for Christmas also serve as inspiration.
Dir: James Watkins, UK, 2012, 1 hr 35 mins. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds.
Susan Hill talks about the background to “The Woman in Black” : http://bit.ly/wVPQCs