Jack Goes Confidential: Harry Potter Grows Up, Goes Ghost Hunting

Is there life after Harry Potter for Daniel Radcliffe?

You’ll have an opportunity to judge for yourself as Radcliffe ventures beyond the mega franchise for the first time this weekend.

Ironically he chose a good old fashioned ghost story for the transition.

In THE WOMAN IN BLACK Radcliffe plays young, widowed-with-kid lawyer Arthur Kipp who travels to a remote village. His assignment, to do the legal follow-up on a recently deceased older woman’s property.

The job’s location: a creepy gothic ‘house on a hill’ type setting where at every turn something could—and does go bump in the night.

And what of the ghostly woman who now messes with Radcliffe’s mind all throughout his spooky visit?
Not to mention the less than hospitable local town folks who welcome him to their little burg with less than open arms.

Hint: ghost woman (a.k.a. The Woman In Back) is grieving for her lost child in the most dispicable ways.

So is this tale of ghostly revenge a gruesome and blood laden slasher-fest?

Not by a long shot!

Most of the film’s fright jolts are achieved through overmodulated audio bumps and dark creepy scenery – basically theater of the mind – and it definitely works. The people around me at the advance screening were jumping like frogs.

And for a minute I thought the lady sitting next to me was going to wet her panties.

Don’t take that the wrong way, by the way.

There’s a piece of advice offered to Radcliffe in the movie when he’s warned. "Don’t go chasing shadows, Arthur!" Well he does anyway, and pulls it off rather convincingly.

Noted in the introductory credits: ‘A Hammer Films Presentation.’
For lovers of that old British horror brand I’m confident you’ll be able to detect comparisons to this once proud studio’s output. The only thing missing here is Christopher Lee.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK, adapted from Susan Hill’s popular 1983 novel and co-starring Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds, is new this weekend everywhere.

I’m rising 2-1/2 out of 5 sinister fingers.

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES on radio Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm / at 8:20 a.m. on 1660 RADIO BACH / and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.

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