The Woman in Black boasts genuine scares and class-act performances by Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer, not to mention Daniel Radcliffe looking all pale and Victorian. Director James Watkins knows how to set the creepy mood and ratchet up the tension till it’s almost unbearable. Very little blood and guts here, mostly good old-fashioned bumps in the night. As entertainingly scary as the film is in the moment, however, it doesn’t have much staying power. After I watched The Ring, I imagined a rotting girl crawling out of my TV for months afterward. I found the woman in black easier to dismiss from my imagination, perhaps because, unlike more effectively haunting films like The Others, The Woman in Black doesn’t have much going on underneath its gothically eerie surface.
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