***WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

The Woman in Black is a story I have known for years. In school I read the book and went to see the stage adaptation, which to this day remains one of the best experiences of my life. Since it was announced I have been looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation of one of my favourite stories, throw in the fact that Daniel Radcliffe was playing the lead character and my excitement levels go through the roof. Today, I went to see The Woman in Black and it did not disappoint.

Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is struggling in his life. His wife died giving birth to their son, Joseph, and he is now facing financial problems as well as being under pressure from his employers. Arthur is sent away to the North East of England to deal with the deceased Alice Drablow’s estate, Eel Marsh House, a task which the locals seem concerned with when Arthur arrives and they all instantly want him to return to London. Whilst dealing with all of the paperwork at the Drablow estate Arthur begins to have visions of ‘The Woman in Black’ and strange things begin to happen in the house, along with children committing suicide in the local village. Despite the villagers insisting that Arthur leave, he takes it upon himself to solve this mystery and try to put an end to the haunting events that plague this place.

It is a great ghost story, in my opinion, and one that needs to be passed down through generations. This film does a great job of staying authentic to the book and putting across a very creepy and chilling tale. Radcliffe portrays Arthur Kipps brilliantly as a terrified man being scared half to death by the strange goings on at Eel Marsh House, but then again, if I’d spent seven years on the run from Voldemort I’d be able to pull off being scared pretty convincingly too. He really does come of age with this film as he tries to be taken seriously as an actor away from the Harry Potter franchise, although I still have trouble believing him as a father, unfortunately.

The way the film is shot is terrific so credit to James Watkins who directed the film. There are lots of moments in the film that will make the audience jump and maybe even scream, but it is bound to be an enjoyable experience. Sometimes it feels as if there is a lot of effort put in to making the audience jump too much in a short space of time but I felt that there were long pauses where nothing scary, as such, would happen and so on balance the film carries itself very well. The second act in particular is very impressive.

The climax of the film does feel slightly rushed in places, although very satisfying. The very end, with Arthur being reunited with his wife as the Woman in Black watches on is sure to bring on some debate. Has she stopped killing the children of the village or hasn’t she? Is killing Joseph and Arthur her way of saying thank you to Arthur? Is it a sort of ‘you reunited me with my family so I shall do the same for you’ kind of thing? All audience members will have their own different interpretations of the ending but there is one thing we should all agree on. This film is great.

My Rating: 7/10.

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