The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012)

What's it about? Harry Potter Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young lawyer sent to a remote village on business, but his arrival is treated with suspicion and fear by the villagers. What are they afraid of? Could it be something to do with the forbidding Eel Marsh House, which has a dark history? Well, yes it could, as it happens.



Is it any good? If you haven't read the excellent book, seen the play or watched the original TV version, then you'll probably find this is a perfectly acceptable film, delivering a good, traditional ghost story, some quietly uneasy moments and some effective BOO! moments. I've experienced all three of the previous incarnations (Go me! Sure amn't I great.), though, and this suffers by comparison, particularly in the changed ending, which I wasn't too keen on. For the most part, though, it makes a fairly good fist of keeping things low-key and atmospheric, sticking faithfully to tried-and-tested haunted house clichés. Creepy clockwork toys? Check. Face appearing at the window? Check. Doors opening by themselves? Check. These moments are all fashioned competently, and whilst none of them really register high on the brown-trouser-meter, they'll give you ample opportunities to clutch the arm of your loved one. Acting-wise, Radcliffe makes a valiant effort to escape the long shadow of Harry Potter, but there's no getting away from the fact that he just looks too young to play Kipps, and no amount of designer stubble and frowny facial expressions can hide that. Still, it's a well enough assembled little chiller and there's enough going on to make it just about worthwhile checking out.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Solid reviews for the most part. Of course, in an entirely predictable development that will have no doubt depressed Radcliffe immensely, the real fun in reviewing it was to be had in coming up with Harry Potter puns and references: Scary Potter, the Deathly Gallows, The Woman in Sirius Black, that sort of thing. So, who am I not to jump on the bandwagon? I've decided to go with "Harry on Screaming". Look, it's way past my bedtime, I can't be arsed coming up with anything better.

What does the Fonz think? Not so much black, as grey.





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