"The Woman in Black" (2012)

I admit: I’ve never watched a Harry Potter film.  But somehow, I always thought Daniel Radcliffe had talent.  The drama film “The Woman in Black” confirms my feelings.

Put simply:  Radcliffe plays a lawyer in late 19th century England, and he has one last chance to prove his loyalty to the law firm for which he works.  He has to go to a strange house in an even stranger community to tie up the affairs of a woman who has died.  That’s as far as I’ll describe the plot, any more would take the fun out of the film.

The obvious horror cliches are here but that doesn’t detract at all.  Keep in mind that with most gothic/scary films, sometimes the director will hit you over the head with the “jump out of your seat” moments.  You should expect them here, but the nice thing about this film is that it’s limited and used sparsely.

The directing from James Watkins is imaginative.  His shots are simple, effective, creepy.  Just what this film was asking for and he delivered.  The script is no-nonsense and to the point.  (Jane Goldman adapted the screenplay from the Susan Hill novel.)

All in all, 3 1/2 stars for “The Woman in Black.”  It is a must-catch on home video soon.