Search

Review: The Woman In Black

08:41 14 February 2012

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Archant

The fourth feature from the reborn Hammer House of Horror stable is a bid to match the tension and shocks that made the Paranormal Activity films so successful.

This being a British horror film it can’t just scare people, it has to be a costume drama and an adaptation of a book and stage play.

It’s a good enough little chiller but does seem like a lot of effort to produce a few shocks.

In the case of the lead character, Arthur Kips (Daniel Radcliffe), it’s a single costume drama. Radcliffe spends the film in the one outfit – collarless shirt, waistcoat, pocketwatch – and with the same expression.

No matter the situation his bemused agitation doesn’t waver.

Radcliffe is a likeable performer, with a sincerity about him which is endearing. But he is rather boyish to be playing a widower with a young son.

As a lawyer sent to a remote village in the late 18th century to deal with the estate of a deceased client, who finds himself ostracised by locals and terrified by the ghostly apparitions he encounters in the empty house, he resembles a boy sent to do a man’s job.

Because there’s no development in his performance the suspense doesn’t build up, it just hovers at the same level throughout. Which is not to say it doesn’t make you jump but the effect is largely mechanical.

Indeed, the first big shock is mostly achieved by a large bang on the soundtrack. James Watkin previously directed the repellent Deliverance-with-Chavs shocker, Eden Lake.

It was a horrendous experience but it did stay with you.

The unease generated by Woman in Black has dissipated before the end of the closing credits.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK (12A)

Director: James Watkin

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Shaun Dooley and Roger Allam

Length: 95 mins

***

0 comments

Other Diss events

Tue, 09:22
Norwich Cathedral Hostry. Photo : Steve Adams.

Artists are getting their paintbrushes and easels ready to take part in a special open air art competition inspired by our fine city.

Mon, 13:17
The People's Tower being built which is a cardboard replica of St Peter Mancroft Church for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2014. The finished tower. Picture: Denise Bradley

A director of music, a city theatre and an art fair are among the people’s choice when it comes to Norfolk’s great champions of the arts.

Monday, October 13, 2014
A scene from the 1984 film Laughterhouse

It was a film which was a celebration of Norfolk, was first shown in Norwich, starring no fewer than 350 geese... and now, 30 years after its release, is being shown again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Yarmouth Out There Festival 2014. The Color of Time by Artonik.

From individual artists and performers to theatre companies, festivals and venues, the nominations for our annual awards for the arts highlight Norfolk’s rich cultural life - and now it is time for you to vote for your favourite cultural champions.

Most Read

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition