Daniel Radcliffe, known to millions as the boy wizard Harry Potter, takes on a new, much more adult role in an old-fashioned horror movie, “The Woman in Black.”
Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer trying to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman. Kipps soon finds himself facing a vengeful ghost determined to find someone and something she lost.
Sean Means of The Salt Lake Tribune writes that Radcliffe is still a bit boyish to take on the role of Kipps, but does a good enough job “to assure you he has a long post-Potter career ahead of him — even if, occasionally, he flashes a look that tells you he knows he could clear up the house’s ghost problems with one Patronus charm.”
Geoff Berkshire of Metromix agrees that Radcliffe gives a solid performance, but writes, “It’ll take more than one movie—and more than one year’s time—for the actor to shake off the ‘Potter’ baggage, but a psychologically complex and emotionally nuanced turn like this is a good start.”
Berkshire adds that the movie’s fear factor may vary depending on how audience members feel about classic ghost story devices such as things or people suddenly popping into the frame.
“Subtlety is not the point here, an approach that’s also reflected in the film’s heavy-handed themes reminding us ghost stories are simultaneously about both a fear of dying and a desire to believe in life after death,” he explains.
Here’s what other critics had to say about “The Woman in Black”:
“Even when it overplays its shocking scare tactics, it's still leagues better than other recent horror films.” – Randy Meyers, MercuryNews.com
“The film, a handsome nerve-jangler co-produced under the storied Hammer horror banner, amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid. Success!” –Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
“I love shocks and carnage, but this is an admirably old-fashioned ghost story, and while it IS scary / creepy / eerie, it's also well within the realm of family viewing. Provided your kids are at least 14 and like being scared by dark hallways and terrible bumps in the night.” – Fearnet.com
Here are showtimes offered by local theaters:
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