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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Woman In Black (2012)

Set in the early Edwardian period, a young solicitor (Daniel Radcliffe), who is also a single father following his wife's death in childbirth, travels to a remote village on business regarding the estate of a recent suicide. The townspeople are hostile and secretive when he arrives. At the estate, he sees a mysterious woman in black from a distance and who is somehow connected to a rash of child deaths in the town. Based on the novel by Susan Hill which had spawned not only a TV adaptation but a long (still) running play in London's West End prior to this film. The film detours from the source material which was probably a mistake. Who doesn't love a good old fashioned ghost story and the anticipation keeps you going for the film's first third. But the letdown comes pretty quickly when you realize the anemic material isn't going to improve. Despite a few shock moments, the film has no genuine sense of horror or dread, just a lot of static shots of Radcliffe wandering through corridors and rooms and stairs. Even the underscore by the normally reliable Marco Beltrami (SCREAM) can't summon up much tension. Directed by James Watkins. With Ciarin Hinds and a sadly wasted Janet McTeer.

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