Review: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
In the haze of the New Year, as award seasons ramps up and we reflect on the best of 2014, here comes something decidedly different yet utterly the same.
The first of the ‘January’ releases is an atmospheric and mundane British horror film, a sequel at that, and entirely forgettable. It’s a mouthful too: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. Aside from those generic descriptors, she doesn’t talk too much, plays a lot of games, and holds a terrible if not incomprehensible grudge.
TWIB2AOD isn’t bad (and neither is that acronym), but more formulaic, and earnest in its meagerness. We return to the small effectively creepy and desolate house amid the marshes that Daniel Radcliffe surrendered to in the first film, this time with a young attractive school teacher (Phoebe Fox), her matronly headmaster, and a group of schoolchildren seeking refuge from World War II. There is also, of course, a doting air force pilot who takes to the school teacher and not surprisingly pops up at opportune times.
The mansion is large and gloomy, it makes sounds and some of the inhabitants, including the young mute boy we’re to take to, start to see and hear things. Bad things happen, the young woman is put in her place by the old woman, and consequences take place.
It’s history repeating if you’ve seen the first film, and nothing much is added to it here. It’s a fair British production, an effective platform for rising actors and filmmakers and a 100-minute distraction for those who want to ever so slightly jump out of his or her chair without ever becoming the least bit flustered. It looks great, and it’s more than just creaks of the wood and the rocking of chairs, but not much more.