by Felicia De Innocentiis | Staff writer
Harry Potter with side-burns? Not even close.
Daniel Radcliffe breaks into his post-Potter career with The Woman in Black, a chilling traditional ghost story where the lives of children hang in the balance.
Radcliffe portrays Arthur Kipps, a young, recently widowed lawyer whose grief only adds to his massive financial debt. In order to keep a roof over his head for himself and his toddler son, he is sent on business to a small, country village where deathly occurrences have kept the denizens in a wake of fear. What resides there is a stately mansion in the marshes that Kipps must file and prepare to sell. Due to Kipps’ presence, the townspeople fear a stirring of an evil spirit lurking in the manor and the continuance of a strange pattern of fatal accidents upon the towns’ children. While the skeptical Kipps tries resisting the rumors, he is soon to believe himself of the vengeful spirit and must solve the mystery of the manor’s haunting past.
For people with a weak constitution for gore like myself, The Woman in Black is a riveting thriller that’ll keep you hiding behind your hands, but not for squeamish reasons. The story is dark but fluent, stepping through each event like a detective mystery that unravels each detail one by one. The most chilling aspects are the secret movements in the shadows and inconspicuous changes that catch you off surprise when you don’t expect them. I most commend Radcliffe for a tremendous performance, for there was not a trace of the boy wizard anywhere. He made a great and mature transition into a new genre of cinema, and I will be looking forward to see him in any upcoming production.
The Woman in Black is creepy, suspenseful, but not nightmarish.