In this Victorian-era ghost story, Daniel Radcliffe plays a young solicitor haunted by the title spirit while investigating an abandoned rural estate. The film belongs to a genre so old (call it "British haunted-manor horror") that Alfred Hitchcock and James Whale both parodied it in 1932, with Number 17 and The Old Dark House respectively. But director James Watkins (Eden Lake) treats the material with surprising reverence, generating good clean scares from atmosphere and character revelations rather than shock editing or gore; the players (among them Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer) manage to steer away from kitsch with their serious, understated performances. This is an effective genre exercise, if not an especially inspired one.
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