A Spooky Successor | Review of ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death’

By: Cynthia Ayala

When a group of orphaned children are forced to move from their home in London, caretakers Eve and Jean bring everyone to the desolate and eerie British countryside. 40 years after Arthur Kipps left, this supernatural horror film introduces this new group to the now abandoned Eel Marsh House; an odd but seemingly safe location. It isn’t long before Eve starts to sense that this house is not what it appears to be as the children in her care begin to disappear. As their house of safety becomes a house of horrors, Eve enlists the help of a handsome pilot to help investigate what is happening. Eve soon discovers that it may not be a coincidence that she has come to reside in the house inhabited by the Woman in Black.

So here we go. The Woman in Black 2 takes place years after its predecessor. Therefore, this film holds none of the original cast and continues to build off the original story, adding to it. This film tells more of the story and does not diminish what has already been told.

The first film got amazing reviews because it was a frightening film, but this movie, well, the reviews were less than flattering, which is unfortunate because it was a frightening film. However this movie flows well with the previous film, adding to the story by putting past events into perspective. It was well done, no doubt it, but the harsh criticism the film has garnered is excusable.

Pulling together various elements, The Woman in Black
has set her eyes on a particular boy and a particular woman. Eve (played by Phoebe Fox) is a schoolteacher who tries to keep a smile on her face in order to survive the horrors of World War II. She and Headmistress Jean (played by Helen McCrory) take their school of children to the countryide in order to save the children from the Londn City and the periodic bombings. So they drag the children to the old and abandoned Eel Marsh House. The house mirrors the definition of the word “decrepit”. Luckily it fits the motif of the film and creates a creepiness equal to that of the first film.

Now, for fans of the novel, this film incorporates more elements from the novel into the film to tie the films together to create a plausible story within the realm of what has already been established.

The biggest downside of the film was some of the cheap scares that the film had. For example, when the charming Pilot (played by Jeremy Irvine) sees a little boy and thinks it’s another boy, the scare is predictable, it was a cheap scare when it revolved the children. Most of the more frightening aspects of the film centered around the woman in black appearing without notice, popping up when you know you’re supposed to expect her yet don’t. Those were the only worthwhile scares. Then there was the love story. It’s refreshing that the film didn’t take the same approach as the first film, but the love story here, it felt somewhat superficial. The depth of the relationship wasn’t there like with the first film. At least the chemistry was there.

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, while not as fresh as the film still retains much of the freakiness and fright factor making it a worthwhile horror film. (★★☆☆ | B)

– Film Credits –

Directed by: Tom Harper

Screenplay by: Jon Croker

Based on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Starring: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory, Adrian Rawlins, Leanne Best & Ned Dennehy

Genre | Rating | Length: HorrorThriller | PG-13 | 1 hr. 38 min.

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