‘Woman in Black’ gives ‘Potter’ star new reputation

Directed by: James Watkins
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds
Rated: PG-13

3.5 Stars

While watching the first couple of minutes of the suspense-horror flick, “The Woman in Black,” starring Daniel Radcliffe, I couldn’t help but internally scream, ‘Just use your wand, Mr. Potter!’ whenever the young star would have an encounter with the paranormal.

But when Radcliffe started to explore the vine-ridden old Victorian house, I forgot all about Harry and his spells and started to see Arthur Kipps, a widower left to care for his only son while on the verge of losing his job as a lawyer.

“I think [Radcliffe] more than proved himself as a major player in the field. You can watch the movie and honestly forget that he played Harry Potter,” said movie-goer Jennifer Fuentes.

“[Radcliffe] was great,” said audience member Miriam Martinez, who had never seen Radcliffe in any other movie, including the Potter films.

In order to try to keep his job, Kipps is sent away to a remote village to do paperwork for Alice Drablow, the owner of the eerie Eel Marsh home. The elegance of the mansion was portrayed beautifully yet disturbingly in the various cinematic shots.

The movie opens with a slew of child suicides, varying from jumping out of windows to purposely swallowing lye. Kipps becomes suspicious, and even more so after having an encounter with a lady dressed in all black that he keeps seeing whenever a child commits suicide. Kipps tries to save the other children in town as well as his own son by trying to solve the mystery of the woman in black.

The movie has a feel of a classic ghost story and the Victorian setting of the film adds to the creepiness of it all. There were quite a lot of the typical jumpy scenes that one expects from a horror movie, but the end of the film is what really sets it apart from other scary movies.

“What a twist!” said Martinez. The heartbreaking turn of events leaves the movie on a bittersweet note and gives the audience closure, which is hard to come by on horror films in this day and age.

Overall, “The Woman in Black” was more of a chilling ghost story than anything else. There wasn’t anything gimmicky about it, which is refreshing if you’re looking for a good scare without all the flashy odd and ends.

“It was a breath of fresh air for suspenseful drama and mystery fans,” said Fuentes. “It wasn’t solely focused on scaring you, although it did a great job at that.”