Sunday, February 5, 2012
Based on a novel by Susan Hill, “The Woman In Black” is a throwback to traditional horror films. Set at the turn of the century, the plot involves Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a London attorney settling the estate of a deceased client in a distant town. Kipps, a widower, leaves his son with a nanny and travels to the town, where the villagers are unwelcoming. They fear that his presence will stir up a vengeful ghost, the woman in black, with dire consequences for local children. Kipps forms an alliance with Mr. Daily (Claran Hinds) and his half-mad wife (Janet McTeer), still mourning the death of their son. As Kipps surveys papers in the deceased woman’s forbidding mansion, he glimpses various presences who gradually “introduce” themselves in more startling ways. The suspense builds without excessive gore or over-the-top special effects. Whether Kipps can break the woman in black's curse–one that might endanger his son–is at the heart of this entertaining, atmospheric film.