Spooky doings in a great old house

The Woman in Black Alliance/CBS Films Rating: 14A 95 minutes

The Woman in Black is a better than average horror movie that has lots of chilling moments once you get past the basic implausability of most horror movies.

Daniel Radcliffe (it’s a bit hard thinking of Harry Potter grown up and a father) plays a London lawyer who leaves his young son behind with Nanny to travel to a remote village to sort out the final papers of a recently deceased woman.

Of course, the woman lived in a wonderfully spooky old house that’s located on a fogbound island at the end of a road that is covered with seawater when the tide rises. The villagers are downright unfriendly and keep telling him to leave; good advice which he, of course, ignores, otherwise it would be a very short movie. Children in the village also seem to have a very high mortality rate.

Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer play the only folks in the place who seem more or less friendly and they too have lost a child. Radcliffe stubbornly persists in doing his job in the house where he soon is beset by strange sounds, apparitions, faces in the window and other common horror film events.

There are some good scares here, although it takes awhile before the plot comes out. But then the film sets things up well and without excessive gore or violence. The atmosphere is suitably spooky with some nasty looking, antique childrens’ toys in that great old house, so the movie mostly works.

Rating: four deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.