Film Short: The Woman in Black
A London solicitor (Daniel Radcliffe) travels to a gloomy seaside village to close out the estate of a wealthy recluse, becoming embroiled in sinister goings-on involving the apparition of a woman in black and the sudden deaths of local children. Susan Hill’s 1983 novel, already adapted for British television and as a highly successful play in London’s West End (22 years and still running), is turned here into a good old-fashioned horror movie, one that depends more on an atmosphere of dread than on blood and cheap scares. Writer Jane Goldman takes major liberties with the letter of Hill’s book but stays faithful to its grim spirit (no pun intended), and James Watkins directs with a firm sense of foreboding. It’s a virtual one-man show for Radcliffe, with able support from Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer. J.L.