The first lecture in my creative writing class we were taught one thing: Just start writing. And, if we couldn’t do that, then we should start with a stranger coming to town. Maybe that stranger has a troubled past or the town he comes to has a checkered history, they’d tell us.
Well just the way that the guest lecturer told my class to start our work, so too does this thriller. A stranger, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), is forced to sort out the will and estate of the late Alice Drablow property in a small English town, named Crythin Gifford in the new film adaptation of The Woman in Black.
As in any good horror flick, the townsfolk are hush-hush about the situation and all tell him to leave. And similar to any good suspense show, he doesn’t listen. He has to know more. He’s too invested, too nosy or just needs to finish the job. Whatever his intention or reasons, he lingers beyond his better judgement. The widowed young litigator sees numerous accidents and deaths involving children in his short time away from his son. His newly found friend Sam Daily, played by (who gives a solid performance), tries to keep himself and Kipps
This movie is no different than many suspenseful thrillers, but it was GREAT to see Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter no longer) in a new role. One that he played very well might I add! I forgot for nearly two hours that this young man was the boy wizard, but was invited into his new role as the young litigator Arthur Kipps.
Director James Watkins (Eden Lake) tells the audience quite a tale, with lots of rumors and mysteries to guess at early on. Following Kipps through his few days in the mansion and in the eery and freak-accident ridden village of Crythin Gifford with quick shots and multiple noisy toys makes for a frighteningly fun movie going experience. It kept me on my toes with numerous jolts and turns and of course, those three freaky British girls featured in the trailer. The end leaves a bittersweet taste in the audience’s mouth, but suits the film.
The film is based on the 1983 novel of the same title and strays from the plot just a bit. The idea and names are all the same though. Overall, The Woman in Black gave me chills and there were at least three times where I jumped and/or screamed like a little girl. It was a very “jumpy” thriller, utilizing lots of close ups and a creepy old mansion as its set up. For a good scare and to see Dan as Dan and not Harry, go see it. Maybe not for Valentine’s Day though…
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