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The Spirit

(2009)

Director(s)
Stars
Gabriel Macht
Samuel L. Jackson
Eva Mendes
Jaime King
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Daniel Radcliffe, for the immediate future anyway, is always going to be Harry Potter, for 10 years he lived and breathed the character and to millions of adoring fans he is the image of the boy wizard, which is why it is an achievement that while watching The Woman in Black Harry Potter hardly crossed my mind.

The story, set in an Edwardian era, centers around Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) who is a solicitor sent to clear up the paperwork of a recently deceased woman. Kipps himself has a 4 year old child and is a widow, his wife having died during child birth.

Kipps arrives in the village of Crythin Gifford where he is to spend the next couple of days working before his son arrives to join him for a holiday. During his train journey Kipps meets the local wealthy man who he befriends and then is given a lift in his car (noted as being the first car in the village) to the inn where he is booked in to stay.

The welcome Kipps gets from everyone else is far from friendly, and as he goes about his business the next day he is more or less told to leave town. What ensues from there is a traditional ghost story with scares and jumps at every opportunity.

As I first mentioned Radcliffe, fresh from the Potter franchise where he IS the boy wizard, manages to detach himself from that completely, not sure if it's the side burns or the fact that his character spends a lot of time alone and doesn't say a lot, or maybe it's the low budget film not being laden with special effect but it's a good move.

I'm showing my age now but I remember the Hammer Horror films of the 70's and 80's which at the time were scary as hell, and the TV show had me hiding behind the sofa more than Doctor Who did, and this film, which is produced by Hammer and filmed in the UK captures the spirit of the old Hammer perfectly.

The film is jumpy if a little corny in places, not too long and has a story which is acceptable for a horror film of this type. I started the question things when a seemingly normal guy decides to spend the night in the creepiest looking house in England that is cut from mainland during for large part of the day and he'd already experienced minor paranormal activity (I'd never have gone anywhere near the house in the first place) and some of the jumpy scenes were far too predictable and came off as amusing but on the whole it's an enjoyable scary horror harking back to the glory days of Hammer.

Good: Decent screenplay from Jane Goldman and some genuinely scary moments. Well directed by James Watkins and a good supporting cast.

Bad: Does get predictable and some of the scares are funny. Too many unanswered things happen and the ending although good could have been better.

25thframe.co.uk rating:

Chart info

UK release date:

Highest chart position: 6

Weeks on box office: 2

Chart history
Date
Place
Gross
6 / N
£1,351,370
12 / 
£243,321
Non-chart history
Finer details

Total UK gross £2,032,139 and the 2019th top grossing film in the UK

UK BBFC Certificate: 12

Genres: