The Woman in Black: It's Hammer time for Daniel Radcliffe!

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The Woman in Black:  It’s Hammer time for Daniel Radcliffe!

They are some of my favorite movies.  And if you are a fan of things that go bump in the night they are some of your favorites, too.  I’m talking about all the great Hammer Films from the 50’s and 60’s.  Films like “House of Dracula”, “X: The Unknown”, “The Gorgon” and well, just way too many to list here.  They made stars out of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and a big fan out of me.  They were usually turn of the century period dramas, complete with lush settings and costumes.  Now in the full bloom of its renaissance, Hammer Films brings all those classic elements back to the big screen in “The Woman in Black”.

Picking a script for your first solo project couldn’t have been an easy task for Daniel Radcliffe.  But I think he made a very wise choice with “The Woman in Black”.  A horror film was bound to appeal to his Harry Potter fan base.  And females won’t be disappointed as there is plenty of Daniel.  Dressed to the nines in his period attire, he strikes a dashing and romantic hero, not as a boy wizard but as a solicitor making his way to a huge and foreboding estate.  Until he can file the proper paper work the house cannot be put back on the market.  So as much as the young widower hates to leave his son behind, he does so with the understanding that the child and his nanny will join him in a few days.

But once Daniel arrives in the village to secure a ride out to the home he is shunned everywhere he goes.  Parents pull their children inside as window after door is shut to keep the young man out.  When he finally finds someone willing to give him a ride he is told that he must be ready to leave before the tide rises.  For when the tide rises it washes right over the tiny strip of land that serves as a natural bridge to the island estate.  When he is left to explore, he soon learns that he is not alone.

“The Woman in Black” is an old fashioned haunted house movie if ever there was one.  With beautifully creepy art direction, the movie simply oozes dread and fear.  The special effects are few but well placed and excellently executed.  You will hold your breath for a stunning twenty minute interlude that is just Daniel exploring the home with frightening results.  I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, here I am again, fearing for his life!”

If there was any question that Daniel could make box office on his own, that is a thing of the past.  He does as good a job here as he has ever done and one can’t feel kinda warm and mushy seeing how he’s grown into a credible adult male lead.  I can’t guarantee that you will like the shocking ending but as I reflect back, there simply could not have been a better one.

“The Woman in Black” scares up 3&1/2 Red Vines for being Hammer-tastic!

A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studio but it in no way affects my unbiased review.