By Charly SHELTON
What did they see? Who is the woman in black? Can Daniel Radcliffe pull off any character that isn’t a boy wizard?
All these questions and more are posed by the new film, “The Woman in Black.”
The ghost story is about a grieving mother whose child was lost in a marsh and who comes back to haunt a town. The story is played out on the screen, brilliantly led by former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, and it terrifies audiences everywhere, taking the number two box office spot on its opening weekend.
In a small British town, the children are dying. They are being taken out one by one, and the townspeople believe that it is the ghost of the woman in black who is killing them. It is not clearly murder – the children are not strangled or beaten – they kill themselves. Drinking lye, starting a fire, jumping into the marsh, and so on. The townspeople know that the stranger in town, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) has angered the spirit and they are out for Arthur’s head. But he has more pressing things on his mind. His son is coming to the town in two days. Kipps has to find a way to put the woman’s spirit to rest before she takes her vengeance on his son.
The tag line for this movie is, “Don’t See It Alone.” I agree wholeheartedly. The first half of this film is so mind numbingly dull that if you don’t have someone to talk to, you may go the route of the kids on the screen and immolate yourself just so you don’t have to sit through this film for a second longer. But if you can wait it out, the reward is worth it.
The last half hour of the film is amazing. When Kipps stops being terrified and sad, he actually gets himself in gear and the film gets really good. So although you will be bored out of your skull for the first hour, you need to have the setup for the end. Don’t walk out of the theater until it’s over. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Rated PG-13, and starring Daniel Radcliffe (who was amazing – he should get a lot more work because of this) and directed by James Watkins.
This film may be a little too scary for small kids, so hire a sitter.
I give this film 2 out of 5 stars.