Woman in Black Offers Old-School Thrills
Daniel Radcliffe makes post-Hogwarts debut
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2012 11:33 AM CST
In this film image released by CBS Films, Daniel Radcliffe is shown in a scene from the supernatural thriller "The Woman in Black."   (AP Photo/CBS Films)

(Newser) – The boy wizard is back—but this time, he's a 19th-century gentleman. Daniel Radcliffe is generally successful playing a spooked lawyer in The Woman in Black, a throwback haunted house thriller. What the critics are saying:

  • The film "makes the most of its old-fashioned virtues," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. It "isn’t especially scary, but it keeps you on edge, and without the usual vivisectionist imagery." For his part, Radcliffe "has the haunted eyes of the eternal mourner."

  • In the Los Angeles Times, Sheri Linden agrees, calling the film "a good, old-fashioned ghost yarn of the Victorian Gothic persuasion" that places "a premium on eeriness, not gore."
  • Roger Ebert doesn't think Radcliffe has "much gravitas," but he's impressed overall. "Not since young Hutter arrived at Orlok's castle in Nosferatu has a journey to a dreaded house been more fearsome."
  • But Michael O'Sullivan isn't so sure, calling the movie "kind of, well, silly." While middle-school girls were screaming in "genuine terror" at a screening, "the rows of professional critics kept erupting in guffaws," he notes in the Washington Post.