In his first outing since “Harry Potter,” Daniel Radcliffe hangs up his wizard’s hat and steps into a more serious and scary role in “The Woman in Black.” How scary and serious exactly? Well, the first thing noticeable is the fact that children are dropping like flies. And it’s not cheap horror and scares like “The Devil Inside.” This is a movie that begs to be seen. Just like Radcliffe’s character, you’ll find a mystery worth exploring here- even if it puts you in mortal danger.
Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer in charge of selling an old house in a small village. Problem is the villagers believe that there is a vengeful spirit called the Woman in Black terrorizing their children. They tell him to leave, but he insists on staying and exploring the house.
Radcliffe is great. It just goes to show just how talented and how far he came from being a boy wizard to an actor who can play just about anything. That’s not to say the rest of the cast is shoddy. The rest of the cast is brilliant. Props must go to Roger Allam as Mr. Bentley. Him and Radcliffe share some good chemistry together. They should share the screen more often.
The movie itself does not start of scary. A few jump scares is all you’re treated to, although it does create some good tension and atmosphere. The town itself has that scary, uncomfortable feeling that can make or break a film. That all changes when the third act comes along. That’s when the movie decides to go all out with its inclusion of fright. These aren’t cheap scares, either. These will stay with for a long while and are well implemented. They just keep coming at you so fast that there is no room for you to catch your breath.
It’s al thanks to a well-written story. It has a strong narrative with strong characters that are well thought out. None of it feels forced. The ending will make you leave the theater in tears. The film does an admirable job of characterization.
“The Woman in Black” is the first great horror movie of 2012 and is one of Radcliffe’s best films. With a quality story and creepy atmosphere, this picture more than makes up for the lackluster fright-fests currently in theaters.
But more importantly, it shows that Radcliffe is more than just a boy wizard; this man can act.
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