HORROR; 1hr 35min
STARRING: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer
Down and out? Radcliffe
A leaden chill seeps through this Edwardian flesh-crawler, adapted from Susan Hill’s 1983 novel. It’s there in the dismal history of solicitor Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe), struggling with a young son and a skidding career after the death of his wife. It lurks in the lustreless village to which he travels on business and which downscales from dreary to freaky with the delicacy of a runaway train. And it’s all over the dusty corridors of godforsaken Eel Marsh House, the deceased estate that Kipps is assigned to deal with.
With the exception of one affable local (Hinds) and his batty, possessed wife (McTeer), the villagers are actively hostile. Which makes sense given their terror of the malevolent Eel Marsh House ghost with whom Kipps is soon rubbing shoulders. The isolated pile is as spooky as all get-out in a gone-dramatically-to-seed sort of way, and while anyone with a shred of sense would immediately leg it, Kipps naturally elects to work alone there through the night. What this requires of Radcliffe is that he perform primarily in strained silence while looking increasingly anxious as director James Watkins goes for broke with hair-raising apparitions. Boo!