THE WOMAN IN BLACK
starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White
screenplay by Jane Goldman
directed by James Watkins
***½/**** | Image A- Sound A Extras B
starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, George Riddle
written and directed by Ti West
by Walter Chaw A beautifully-outfitted, brilliantly-designed Victorian jack-in-the-box, James Watkins's The Woman in Black will likely be remembered, if it's remembered at all, as Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter commencement (given that no one saw December Boys). Alas, it squanders a pretty nice, 'Tim Burton Sleepy Hollow' set-up in bumfuck England for a solid hour of crap jumping out of shadows. Popping up from behind bushes is startling, but it isn't art (it's not even clever), and at the end of the day, it's only really entertaining if you or your date is a sixteen-year-old girl. Carrying the Hammer imprint and boasting production design so good that long stretches of the film are devoted to looking at it, the piece only ever honours its legacy and appearance with the brutality with which it handles its dead children and a delirious dinner scene in which a grief-besotted lady (Janet McTeer) treats her little dogs like babies and carves something on her dinner table whilst possessed of a hilarious fit. The rest of it is garbage.