Movie review: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

WomanInBlack2Picture this: you’re on your way to a pitch meeting at Relativity Media but you haven’t come up with a movie idea in months. On the way to the studio, you start scraping things together in your head. Lion King 2? Already done. Big Mamma’s House 4? Maybe. No, The Woman in Black 2? Perfect.

The fact that The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death even exists is far from perfect, it represents the difficulty that Hollywood has in leaving ‘well enough’ alone. With a backdrop in World War II, two women lead eight children to a country manor to escape the danger of wartime London. One of the children is recently orphaned and hasn’t spoken since losing his parents. This is one of the greatest thrills of the film. They successfully exploit that dark, prodding fear of being voiceless and unable to scream when in danger’s terrifyingly
immediate path.

This child becomes a conduit for paranormal events and forces Phoebe Fox’s character to deluge deeper into the mysterious, dilapidated house. This sequel seems to take the slow, methodical and explorative tone of the first film and renders it into a romp with quick-shots and a loose narrative thread, connecting disjointed, pop-out scares.

Without the star power of Daniel Radcliffe from the first film, the movie seems almost empty. That’s not to say Fox’s performance isn’t great, since she is one of the only highlights to a grey, cinematic obscurity.

The shots and cinematography were interesting and mixed with the heightened pace, this film may attract Insidious fans and win back those who felt The Woman in Black was too monotonous. With an unsatisfying ending, cheap scares and a tissue paper-thin there is no reason this movie needs to exist. The Woman in Black 2: Death of a Franchise, not only makes you dislike the film itself, but may even go as far as to spoil whatever fond memories you may have had for the original. There are better scares out there.

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