Woman in Black Report. by Alex Porter
As a film made by Hammer, you would be right to assume that Woman in Black is going to be a little bit scary. According to the director James Watkins, it’s terrifying.
With two time slots at this weekend’s Big Screen (hosted by Empire, based at London’s O2 arena) it is already proving to be an eagerly awaited film for 2012. Thankfully it’s set for an early release in February so none of us need to wait too long to see the finished product. As Daniel Radcliffe’s only second film role since starting Harry Potter, there is anticipation throughout the world to see how Dan will perform. But James Watkins, director of Woman in Black, has only complimentary things to say: “Dan is so committed to his craft and wants to learn, wants to get better.” From the hints the trailer gives, this is proving to be a great motto for Dan to use as this film is likely to be seen as the beginnings of his career in “adult” roles.
As for the plot, this is the quintessential ghost story with haunted house included. Our protagonist, Arthur Kipps (played By Dan) arrives a the house when he is also attending the funeral of Alice Drablow, the lady to whom the house belongs. As her solicitor, he is sent to organise her paperwork and in the days that follow, he is haunted by a mysterious Woman in Black.
Originally a book by Susan Hill, and adapted into the well known play, the film is said to be adapted (by Kick Ass and X-Men: first Class’ Jane Goldman) more from the novel than the play. It is essential for any ghost film, to present the perfect atmosphere. Like any good ghost film, play, book or fairground ride, Watkin’s adaptation plays on the idea of “it’s not what you can see, it’s what you can’t”. This is only emphasised by the shadows and darkness that you can see in the stills, the trailer and the exclusive clip presented at Empire’s Big Screen.
Daniel Radcliffe has described Woman in Black as the “best filming experience of my life” and from the little we have seen of his latest film, it seems safe to say he is leaving the shadow of Hogwarts behind. With the release of the Woman in Black poster set for the next week, I think we can all agree it looks set to be the scariest film of 2012.