Director: James Watkins. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds. 95 min. Rated PG-13. UK/Canada/Sweden. Horror.
In a Dracula-like opening, a young lawyer goes to a far-off English village to manage the sale of a mansion, where numerous child deaths have occurred. This is a textbook for horror movie cliches, from the once-you-see-'em-once-you-don't ghostly characters, to the "it's just a cat" sequences, to the obligatory shock shots. But wait. This movie also has appropriately beautiful sepia-colored cinematography, an actor who successfully escapes his own Harry Potter shadow, but most importantly, a story that takes itself seriously, with a memorable ending. So don't just blame the Mojo rating on my soft spot for old-fashioned haunted house movies.