|Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black, CBS Films, 2012|
Entering cautiously the Gothic horror genre, first-time directorJames Watkins shows considerable skill with mood and suspense. In the recent tradition of Amenabar's masterful The Others, The Woman in Black is a creepily stylish suspenser, old-fashioned and fascinating in its own curious way.
Daniel Radcliffe displays considerable gravitas in his first post-Potter role, invoking Jonathan Harker as a notary drawn into the dark mystery of a haunted manor in a ghostly town. Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer lend their clandestine countenances to this gallery of shadows.In adapting Susan Hill's popular 80s kids' book, scripter Jane Goldman adheres to the rules of the game, paying homage not only to Browning and Whale, but inescapably Hammer horror. DP Tim-Maurice Jones lights the happening menacingly, and Marco Beltrami's score pulses with dread. Cumulatively, this team delivers the shivery goods.
As far as early year scares go, we could not have asked for a better popcorn pleaser than Watkins' atmospheric first foray.