Directed by Tom Harper, the sequel does all the things that part one avoided and turns out to be a disappointing and lazy cash grab
'The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death'
Director: Tom Harper
Cast: Phoebe Fox, Helen McCrory
'The Woman in Black' was one of the biggest surprises of 2012 — it was a refreshing take on the haunted house genre because it didn’t rely on jump scares. Rather, it engaged you with seriously creepy atmosphere and unbearable tension to keep you fidgeting in your seats. It also made one take Daniel Radcliffe seriously as an adult actor. Since that movie made a decent amount of money, Hollywood did what is expected of it — churning out a sequel to rake in some more from the audience’s pockets. But then 'The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death' also, unfortunately, turns out as expected — a disappointing and lazy cash grab.
Phoebe Fox (above) holds her ground in the film that resorts to loud, cheap jump scares and has a story that is laughably bad
Directed by Tom Harper, the sequel does all the things that part one avoided — resorts to very loud and very cheap jump scares, has a protagonist we just don’t care about, has a story that is laughably bad, side characters that exist only to be picked off by the evil entity, and a ghost that is evil just for the sake of it. It’s just a standard issue direct to DVD horror movie with very good production values that make you believe there’s something more to the movie than meets the eye. Sadly, there is nothing beyond the surface, and the filmmakers just make you wait for something interesting to happen only to dash your hopes.
This time, 'The Woman in Black 2' takes place 40 years after the events of the first film — two women bring a bunch of kids to the haunted house on the derelict island, and discover a malevolent entity lurking within its walls, picking the kids one by one. The lack of logic is baffling; it seems everyone forgot what happened 40 years ago, and there is no explanation for this creepy, and obviously haunted house, being the only place for the two women to bring a dozen kids to. It’s a convenient plot vehicle to scare you by getting children in isolated places and killing them off. There’s also a strange side plot of a crazy blind man and a bunch of ghost children hanging out in the abandoned town near the island but it adds nothing except for some more cheap eardrum-shattering jolts.
The only silver lining in this snoozefest is newcomer Phoebe Fox who is not only too pretty but is also a really good performer as she holds her ground in a rather silly film. If only she weren’t offset by the character of Helen McCrory, who spends three fourths of the film denying the existence of ghosts with heavy handed philosophical ramblings and then hilariously apologises for the same when the woman in black shows up in her face.