Firstly, lets get one thing straight. As a 12A I was expecting this to be quite a harmless little roll in the English dales with a few kiddie thrills and spills and my blog would reflect that of a quirky period Brit flick with the once Harry Potter finding it difficult to break his stereotyped image as the boy who lived.
Oh, how wrong can someone be!
Lets start with the Certificate. In my eyes, at least a 15. Its not gory, there is no stabbing or guns but its jumpy as hell. A few brave parents bought their under 10's along but it was obvious they did not want to be there. From about 15 minutes in the thrills start and its all edge of the seat stuff. Suspense of who's behind the door, who's going to jump out at the window, what's going to creak, slam or groan. Who's in the shadows, who's in the mist - when the haunted house scenes are on you literally fall over the spooky elements - they come thick and fast.
Now our star. Mr Radcliffe. I was worries he would fail on epic levels in anything other than Harry Potter but he comes across surprisingly well. Fair enough, he currently doesn't come across as someone lined up for action or comedy roles stick him in a few of these spooky period dramas and his boyish charm and pale complexion may set him up perfectly. That said, with no more releases due until 2013 he may already be taking his Potter money and retiring with a few movies just to keep the Bank Manager happy, although I'm sure that was covered a long time ago.
The story itself was relatively unknown to me. Delivered to us by historic horror house, Hammer we step back to the early 1900's and a village troubled with the death of its kin to the once betrayed Woman in Black. Radcliffe is the newbie Lawyer, dispatched from London after the death of his wife in childbirth to arrange sale of the far from humble abode and his welcome arrival rekindle a spate of deaths between the locals. Radcliffe's mission, work out what the hells going on and end it before his own family fall foul of the mysterious woman.
What I love about these movies is watching them in a packed auditorium. The screen I was in was almost full to burst and with that quantity of people you can be sure you're not going to be the most scared person in attendance. The jumpy bits made me jolt but there's always one screamer and the whole place chuckled along to ourselves as we cowered and quaked. Occasionally, on a really jumpy bit we got the screams from girls at the back which were always met with further chuckles of appreciation for making the atmosphere just that little more creepy. Add that to the irregular wafts of air-con adding a chill to the air and it was a fantastic night.
I'm not a horror movie nut and in all honesty, period dramas make me more nervous than a Greek start up business but this was intensely captivating. Daniel Radcliffe was brilliant and the cast of mainly recognisable Brit actors kept me on the edge of my seat.
Take the kids? Well, not mine and I don't recommend yours either - under 13 that is.
A great surprise, good story - loads of jumpy bits and from not knowing the story in advance, a surprise at the end. I cant tell you if its better or not than the stage play as I've not seen it too comment but it totally sucked me in so surely thats only a good thing?
If you're scared of movies like then thats great but in this case, man-up and get out there. Don't wait until the DVD release - you need the full experience of air-con, screams and finally, the BIG SCREEN!