(CBS Films) So far in his twenty-two years, Daniel Radcliffe has played one of the more iconic characters in young adult literature. The Harry Potter book series is the best-selling in history, has been translated into 67 different languages, and spawned eight record-breaking films. Radcliffe spent half his life portraying the underdog hero with a heart of gold, shock of black hair, and horn-rimmed glasses. Though his acting has been dubbed shaky at points of the series, Radcliffe blossomed into a driven, talented actor. After drastically different roles in London and New York productions of Equus (nudity!) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (singing!), “the boy who lived” returns to film with The Woman in Black.
After playing a young wizard for so many years, Radcliffe chose a horror-thriller as his next project. The film is directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake, The Descent: Part 2) and written by Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class), both adpet at handling fantastical subject matter and things that go bump in the night. The Woman in Black, based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name, follows Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer from London. He leaves his young son behind to settle the affairs of Alice Drablow, a recently deceased client. A series of accidents in the town have led parents to keep their children inside; perhaps some ghosts and ghouls haunt the town. When Arthur stays inside the creakily creepy old house of Alice Drablow, he begins to see just what the children are afraid of.
The trailer brings Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow to mind -- muted colors, eerie children, and a desolate town in the woods. The haunting faces of children peer out the windows at Arthur, a silent question in their eyes. The film looks to be set in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and Radcliffe sports facial hair and side burns that make him look much older than the scrappy teen Potter. A solitary grave marker, devastatingly creepy little girls, and a chilling specter in the window all make for solid haunted house fare. It appears that Arthur’s dead client may have been hiding something in that spooky house, and he might be the only one who can stop The Woman in Black before it’s too late.
Also starring fellow Harry Potter alum Ciaran Hinds (Munich, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Sophie Stuckey (Driving Aphrodite), and Liz White (Life on Mars), this film could demonstrate if Daniel Radcliffe has what it takes to carry a stand-alone film. After wild success at the theater, the young actor is primed for a long career if his next few films do well. The Woman in Black has all the right trappings of a tantalizingly sinister horror flick, and as big Potter fans, we hope Radcliffe knocks it out of the (Quidditch) park!
For Fans Of: The Others, What Lies Beneath, Session 9
Why We’re Excited: Daniel Radcliffe, horror movies, haunted house
CBS Films' ‘The Woman in Black’ is scheduled for U.S. release on Friday, February 3, 2012.