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The Woman in Black Should Have Stayed in the UK

I have always been a huge fan of a good old fashioned ghost story, so naturally when I thought of a haunting story involving Daniel Radcliffe I was already planning ahead to opening night. My expectations, however, were not met.

The Woman in Black was first performed at the Theatre-By-The-Sea in Scarborough, UK, in 1987. The original production received rave reviews, praising both the script and the superb portrayal of characters. The story revolves around a death at the eerie Eel Marsh House. Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is summoned to sort out Mrs. Drablow’s estate unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind the dark windows. Fighting his own devastation of his wife’s untimely death, Kipps embraces the task.  It is not until he glimpses a woman, dressed all in black, that he begins to understand the reluctance of the locals to talk to him.

The movie hinges on the fright factor of the unknown. At any given moment a frightening image of the woman in black or her lost son appear in a mirror or seem to fly across the room. The first time the woman’s image appeared I was genuinely frightened, however, the second, third and twentieth time the fright factor had worn off. Radcliffe, Misha Handley (Kipps’ son) and Roger Allam (Mr. Bentley) make the movie worthwhile. The other actors seemed flat and unemotional even during the emotional scenes.

Spoiler alert: Harry Potter is no longer the boy who lived.