WILL THIS BE THE DEATH OF THE WOMAN IN BLACK?
'She never forgives. She never forgets. She never left.' is the tagline of this horror film which happens to be the first one of 2015. Directed by Tom Harper, The Woman in Black - Angel of Death returns to Eel Marsh house 40 years after the first film during World War 2. The house becomes temporary home to a group of evacuees which once again awakens the haunting spirits or the ancient manor. Starring Phoebe Fox (Switch) , Helen McCrory (Harry Potter Series) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as the new victims of the haunting woman - how will this bunch survive?
Lets start off with saying that this film proves that sequels are never as good. 2012's British box office smash is far superior to this. Whilst watching the film, I couldn't help but feel that I'd watched the same thing before. Similar jump scares are used to the first film which means that the scares aren't as big this time around. Expect more of 'the rocking chair', 'the creepy dolls' and 'darkness'. I was hoping that this film would develop more on the past of the Woman in Black but I feel that I have learnt nothing new. This suggests that this film was pretty pointless and just made to make the production company some more money.
The acting is of a good standard. It is nice to see a female lead this sequel as it proves that women can be confident enough to go lurking through a creepy and abandoned house. This breaks many stereotypes created by Hollywood. Fox, McCrory and Irvine all play there roles well and manage to convince the audience members that they are actually the people they are playing. This film also has a group of child actors who play the evacuees. Surprisingly, they are also quite good instead of being cringeworthy which is usually what younger actors are. Oaklee Pendergast who plays 'Edward' really gave me chills and became such a creepy character. However, it is clear that some form of star quality is missing - I'm sure the movie would have been a lot better if Daniel Radcliffe was to have returned.
However, these actors aren't given much room to play around with as this is a very cliche and unoriginal horror flick. The jump scares are 99% of the time to do with things that aren't very scary (e.g. a crow flying into the window or children playing pranks on each other). It is quite upsetting to have so many horror films with jump scares as it means more box office success for unoriginal films. However, there is a very disturbing sequence which may scare the audience psychologically (hint - look out for red rope).
The scene is set very well with Eel Marsh house being as eery as ever. The stage is set for a perfect horror film but the scary things that occur there just aren't scary. I found myself laughing at some of the close ups of the Woman in Black as she just didn't look very scary. All the hype was falsely built up for a non-scary monster. The soundtrack also helps a lot with the eery atmosphere. The third act of this film also lets down all the tension and suspense built in the first 2 acts- it is basically the same but a poorer version of the 2012 instalment. The ending is also very dissatisfying as it just feels rushed and cliche.
When going to see this film, don't expect it to be better than the first or to extremely scare you. Expect to laugh at cheap scares but be impressed by the atmosphere created and the good acting. This could be the death of the woman in black series. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive and forget what new impression Tom Harper has gave me on this instalment.