Radcliffe sheds Harry Potter image with Woman in Black

Review of The Woman in Black, by reporter Laura Hammond

WHEN it was announced that Daniel Radcliffe would be playing the main character in ghost story The Woman in Black, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to be a little cynical.

I knew the story, and wasn’t sure that his scared little boy way of acting would wash in the role of a young solicitor haunted by a woman bent on vengeance.

However, in the main, the Harry Potter actor was pretty good in his portrayal of Arthur Kipps, who is sent to the suitably spooky Eel Marsh House to organise the papers of a woman who has just died. He soon realises that the locals have a good reason for staying away from the old estate, as terrible things begin to happen as soon as he goes to the abandoned old house.

That said, I expected him to pull out a wand to confront the ghost on more than one occasion.

The whole look and atmosphere of the film was a little dark and gothic for my liking. We know it’s a ghost story, it doesn’t have to be dark and dreary just to prove that. The audience is presumably not completely lacking in imagination.

On a more positive note, the film is good at building tension. I spent much of it waiting with baited breath for something to jump out or flash past the screen. It was done very effectively. There were several moments which made me jump.

I was only disappointed by one part - the end. It took a chilling moment and went too far with it, transforming it into an emotional, sappy, finale.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the majority of the film.

Three and a half stars