It’s a role that requires him to be almost the only one on screen for large amounts of the film. In director James Watkins’ hands, though, Potter makes the leap with aplomb.
In turn-of-the-century London, Radcliffe’s Arthur Kipps is sent to the north of England to process the legal papers of a deceased woman. When he gets there he finds a local community terrified by the lady who’s said to haunt the property and its marshland surrounds, sightings of her having deadly repercussions.
Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) reworks Hill’s source material, giving Kipps a son and late wife, which shrouds the character in grief, the loss of loved ones forming a key component of the film’s story, too. Watkins, who proved adept at racheting up the tension and delivering the scares with his directing debut Eden Lake, shows that was no fluke. He revels in the atmosphere of the period setting, making Eel Marsh House a truly chilling presence, and delivers a number of stand-out scare-sequences as Kipps roams the halls chasing down spectral shadows.
The real revelation, though, is Radcliffe. Often criticised for his acting while on Potter duty, here he proves he can actually cut it, his Kipps a convincingly terrified, grief-stricken man. Put it all together and you have an outstanding haunted house frightener, one that proves there is life post-Hogwarts for Radcliffe.
Verdict: Four stars