The Woman in Black review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Star of the Harry Potter franchise Daniel Radcliffe plays a young lawyer in Victorian England who relocates to a remote village, to discover the ghost of a mourning woman is terrorizing the locals.
Made under the banner of the British horror movie studio, Hammer Horror, The Woman in Black is an interesting addition to the wealth of adaptations of Susan Hill’s 1980’s novel. This interpretation combines the traditional Victorian horror style with the dark sensitivities of modern cinema go-ers and does so quite effectively. The Woman in Black is a surprisingly creepy and genuinely spooky horror film; filled with did-you-or-didn’t-you see that moments, and elements present only in some of the tensest of modern thrillers.
I was genuinely impressed by The Woman in Black and feel it could have been a truly remarkable movie, if not for one very poor choice. Radcliffe, cast here as a grieving single father, is not only ill suited to the role but also performs poorly in it. I struggled throughout to see Radcliffe as a father based not only on his physical not-really-a-grown-up-yet appearance but also on the globally accepted association of him as that wizard with the scar.
Furthermore, I also felt he lacked the emotion that was required for the role; haunted by a ghost who has experienced the most harrowing possibility to any parent should move Radcliffe in such a way that his parental and instinctual fear should both be abundantly clear to any viewer; what we are instead treated to is a rather slack and shocked facial expression.
It really is a terrible shame; I would have far rather watched an unknown actor play the role well than someone famous with the on screen presence of a flobberworm.