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Friday, 9 January 2015

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

The Woman in Black (2012) starring Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t something that made you feel creepy.  It was scary in bits and parts but nowhere close to what horror freaks and fanatics are used to, or demand these days.  The Woman in Black 2 : Angel of Death, is no different.

If anything, it has taken the horror element down one notch.  The number of instances of surprise can be counted on one hand.  More importantly, most of these instances are expected – so there is very little to the element of surprise.  Predictability is the bane of horror and Tom Harper’s attempt to create a sequel doesn’t make you want to stand up and take notice – unfortunately.

Set in 1941 in a world war torn England, The Woman in Black : Angel of Death is about Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) who is a school teacher.  She is as compassionate as they get. Several children have been left homeless and Eve, along with Headmistress Jean Hogg (Helen McCrory) have decided to travel to the countryside where the kids would be safer for sure.

As they are about to leave, they are joined by Edward (Oaklee Pendergast).  Edward has been orphaned thanks to an air-strike the previous night and hasn’t spoken a word since.  Along the route, we also see the entry of Flight Officer Harry Burnstow (Jeremy Irvine) who is also headed towards the same town.

Needless to say, the mansion that awaits the children is the Eel Marsh House from the 2012 edition.  The settings haven’t changed much and before you blink an eyelid or two, weird things start happening.  Of course the centre of attraction include Ms. Parkins and Edward – again predictably.

Director Tom Harper has decided that Black is the colour of horror.  For most parts of the movie (and I am sure that the print is not to blame), I was struggling to make out forms on the screen.  An attempt that contributes significantly to a loss of interest and the lack of fear (one cannot fear what one cannot see Mr. Harper) in the first half of the movie.

It doesn’t get too much better as the movie trundles along the beaten path.  Average performances from the cast and a particularly stone faced Pendergast don’t help in lifting the spirits either. Of course the predictability is the final proverbial nail on the coffin.  Horror geeks will scoff at this.  The rest may find it scary in parts. 4 on 10 for some moments that do make you grab the arm rests.

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