THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH Review
For those awaiting the same type of enthralling darkness and depth, you have been warned!
From the very beginning, the movie differentiates itself briefly from its predecessor by presenting the audience with the same vein of horror but with a few changes this time.
I am not going to lie, the first Woman in Black sets its boundaries from the beginning as well and the storyline just draws you in deeper and deeper yet the second movie just makes it simply ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong, the start had a really promising perspective, the story had a twist but the exposition was too long, dispersed and the lack of action seemed to be boring the audience.
Instead of offering information and alluring its public into following the story of the Woman in Black once again, making you understand the spectre’s background and manifestation, this movie almost invites you to sympathise with the main character, nurse Eve, constantly tortured by the loss of her first child, wrongly taken away from her at birth.
And that is just the first line of the spider’s web, for almost every adult in this movie seems to have this background story that is partially presented for its importance yet seems to be left aside after that. The testimonials of each character present themselves as playing a major role in the shaping of each individual, the general idea behind that being that all of them involve PTSD caused by the experience of war. At a certain point, I even got the impression that it has nothing to do with the Woman in Black at all, especially given the fact that she was a very rare appearance and every time that she did show herself, it was a jump scare and not a very well done one. Fun fact- the best reaction in the audience was caused by a jump scare that didn’t even involve the Woman in Black, which makes me a bit sat to be honest.
The Woman in Black 2 presents itself more as an inventory of characters strongly impacted by death & war: a mother constantly seeking her long lost son and presently tortured by by the feeling of loss and the will of giving up this search that leads nowhere; a former pilot that, to be honest, seems to be in this story just as an escape goat, the final sacrifice (quite predictable); a tough, sceptic teacher that plays the role of a tough soldier, the only one that actually keeps ground during hard times.
And about the ‘spectre of darkness’, she seems to be feeding on their feelings and sorrow, from the shadows, throughout this entire movie and once in a while, when she decides that a scare is needed, you might see an angry face or a haggered hand reaching to you from the hidden corners of Eel Marsh House.
With a heavy heart, I must confess that the main scene that personally killed it for me was the moment when you see the ghost crawling out of a hole in the ceiling. And yes, you read that right, people!
The Woman in Black never gave me the impression of being something else than a ghost story but the previously mentioned scene transfers to a different vein of cinema altogether. There might be opinions out there disagreeing, and fairly so, personally I feel that there is no need for a crawling ghost, a feature specific to other appearances such as demons, especially stemming from Japanese cinema. Examples might include ‘Mama’, ‘The Ring’ etc.
Overall my opinion about this movie unfortunately tends towards the negative side and the funny bit about all of that is that I feel disappointed. I think that the storyline needs a bit more work, the focus is not badly positioned on the characters and their involvement within Second World War (England, 1941) but their interaction with the spectre itself was far too brief and therefore does not create the impact it promises.
I don’t know about you but I would have never thought of the Woman in Black 2 as being one of those movies that makes the public laugh yet it did. There always is the possibility that it might have been a bit generated by fear, some of it by the fact that the long exposition predisposes to a bit of boredom. As a personal cinematic experience, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death was a very big disappointment.