Woman in Black

Woman in Black is unashamedly a traditional things-go-bump-in-the-night ghost story. I’m in two minds as to whether it is a good film or not. It’s certainly not a bad film, but I can’t work out in my mind whether it is any better than ‘workmanlike’.

Let’s dispense with one headline-grabber: is Daniel Radcliffe any good in it? In my opinion, he’s a little wooden, but not bad. Some pundits refer to him as ‘lightweight’. Maybe he is, a little, but the plot demands someone who is put-upon by his boss. He doesn’t have the strength of character to stand up to his boss, and fear of losing his job is what drives him to stay at the haunted house, working away in the dead of night when I would long since have run away. So, I think DR does reasonably.

The plot is a little thin, but it unravels at a nice pace. The effects are very good – not over the top (one of my usual complaints in ghost or horror films). Woman in Black relies on glimpses, things just out of sight, sudden shock. It all works much better than the big budget special effects some films employ.

The weakest aspect of the film is its ending. I won’t spoil it for you by spelling it out, but suffice to say I can think of several better endings, and I haven’t thought about it much. If the ending had been better, I’d have come away convinced I had seen a very good film. As it is . . . I still can’t work out whether it is any more than workmanlike.

I’d certainly not put off anyone who wanted to go to see it – so why don’t you watch it and come to a decision yourself, and let me know?
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