Hill’s horror finds a new audience

Daniel Radcliffe, at the premiere of the supernatural thriller The Woman in Black. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Daniel Radcliffe, at the premiere of the supernatural thriller The Woman in Black. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

n The Scarborough Literature Festival runs from April 12 to 15.

SCARBOROUGH novelist Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black is finding a whole new audience thanks to the film version starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The Harry Potter heart-throb has taken the horror movie to number two in the US charts – just below teenage super-power sci-fi Chronicle.

The film, based on Hill’s novel which was turned into a play and premiered in Scarborough, took $21 million (£13.3 million) in its first weekend.

Analysts said that The Woman in Black found their main audience with cinemagoers in their teens and early 20s.

The Woman In Black is an old-fashioned ghost story. Radcliffe plays a widowed lawyer, haunted by apparitions at the home of a dead client.

CBS Films head of distribution Steven Friedlander said the movie had “all the elements for making a hit”.

“In retrospect, you look at Daniel Radcliffe, one of the biggest stars and one of the hardest-working kids in show business, you have a very well-made PG-13 scary movie,” he said.

Hill, who is one of the guests at Scarborough Literature Festival this year, has seen the film and said: “It is fantastic and Daniel is wonderful in it.”

The stage version opened in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and later transferred to the West End where it has been running for more than 22 years.

The movie has earned decent reviews from publications ranging from Empire to the Daily Mail.

It is the first film role for Radcliffe since his last outing as the boy wizard Harry Potter.

“This is the first step, absolutely, in the transition of me moving on and doing other things – and it’s one I’m very proud of,” said Radcliffe.

“People are going to stop thinking about Harry Potter pretty quickly when they see this film. Even if they go in thinking, ‘What’s Harry’s up to now?’, the story is so compelling,” he said.