THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Directed by James Watkins. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey. 95 mins
Rating: One and a Half/Five
In cinemas February 10
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR MAKING A DECENT HORROR FILM:
1. I am the Roe, thy Critic, and thou shalt listen to none before me.
2. Thou shalt not make yourself the image and likeness of formulaic clichés worthy only of Chicken Soup for the Hallowe’en Lover’s Soul. For I, the Critic your Enemy, am bored senseless by your misty marshes, creaking rocking-chairs, evil dolls, overwrought scores and constantly bungled jump-scares.
3. Audience: thou shalt not take Harry Potter’s name in vain and tell him he’s a wizard at inappropriate times.
4. Remember the final climax, and keep it holy. Or unholy. Hell, bring in Richard Dawkins and make it scathingly atheist for all I care, but don’t provide an ending so predictable that it can only be described as tedium marinated in indifference and served on nest of uncooked boredom. For keeping my eyes open for this snooze-fest proved to be extremely hard work, so don’t you go calling a dibs-like “Sabbath!’’ in the final moments and resting.
5. Honour your father character by remembering that Daniel Radcliffe’s attempts to look like an actual adult in the final scene of Harry Potter were as convincing as McLovin’s fake I.D., and accept that the shortstack 22 year old makes the most unconvincing Dad ever committed to film.
6. Thou shalt not kill characters and have their ghostly cries echoed by a goddamn parrot, for this will be the unintentionally hilarious.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery by claiming to be inspired by Susan Hill’s novel, when really you’ve just been canoodling with that internet prank of the pop-up banshee, and won’t stop shoving it on screen whenever the action dips towards levels usually only experienced by coma patients.
8. Thou shalt not steal the creepy girls from The Shining.
9. Thou shalt not make us bear witness to another crap horror film from the producers of The Resident.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy audiences’ money , screams or satisfaction– thou hast not earned it.