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September 20, 2017

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Spooky 'Woman in Black' (顫慄黑影)

Daniel Radcliffe acquits himself reasonably well in his first adult big-screen role, a man haunted by "The Woman in Black."

He plays a young lawyer, a single father and widower with enough conviction to make this spooky period piece credible, though one might wish for a little more fear in the character and in his performance when confronted by the supernaturally sinister.

I guess once you've faced down Lord Voldemort, you ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Arthur Kipps is a failing young barrister in the Britain of the early 1920s. He still grieves for his wife, who died in childbirth, and pays a little too much attention to the spiritualist ads in his local newspaper. That's how much he longs to see her again.

But he has a young son to support, so he seizes one last chance to prove himself to his firm — a trek to the north of Britain, to the marshy east coast where he must rummage through the papers of a family whose long-abandoned mansion, Eel Marsh, is to be sold.

The residents of the dank, grey and backward little village of Crythin Gifford aren't very welcoming. There's no room at the inn, no smile at any door. They want him gone, and quick. And as the film's opening scene has shown three village girls hurl themselves out of a window, we know there's tragedy there.

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