Day 23 (Alex): The Woman In Black

Okay, so I finally got around to watching this one after my wife recommended it two years ago. I believe The Woman in Black is Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Harry Potter film. Strangely enough I ended up watching Swiss Army Man before this one, so I've already acclimated to seeing him in a different setting.

Now, for those of you who saw Nosferatu, the original 1922 vampire movie I reviewed earlier (that review is right here), you may recognize similar plot points: frightened locals, rumors about a particular residence, and their apprehension about going there. In this film, we have a Victorian home that can only be accessed by a long winding road, which disappears when the tide comes up. A single white, wooden cross comes into frame each time we see someone drive past it.

Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) lost his wife, and as a widow with a young son, struggles to pay his bills. As a lawyer, he readily accepts a proposal to settle the estate of the house in question, which means he must peruse all the rooms, looking for all the documents needed to thoroughly do his job. 

Supposedly the house is haunted by an evil spirit that attacks children, and Arthur already arranged for his son to join him by the time he learns this. And this is where the conflict comes into play. Aided by the help of a resident, Daily, Arthur struggles to defend himself against the local residents (who blame him for waking the evil spirit) and against the house itself.

I believe this film was a wise choice for Radcliffe as his first venture outside of Harry Potter. While it is a starring role, the focus wasn't on him so much as it was the house, and this allows for the audience to adjust to Harry Potter coming of age, so to speak. 

The Woman in Black is a smart haunted house story, not relying on explicit dialogue to explain everything, but allowing subtle clues to lead the audience along. I found it very entertaining, yet somewhat predictable for me, but it works and works well.

My overall score? 5 bits out of 8. 

And, you can watch it on Amazon Prime right here:  The Woman in Black (Prime)