The Woman in Black: Angel of Death gets predictable real quick, says Paloma Sharma.
Welcome back to Eel Marsh House.
The tide is expected to come in at four.
The Woman is expected to come too.
All attempts at escaping are futile.
Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) is a young caretaker who, along with senior school teacher Jean Hogg (Helen McCory), is given the charge of evacuating children who lost their parents to German bombs that landed on London, to the English countryside.
And where else should the party be headed to but Crythin Gifford?
The town appears completely abandoned.
But Eve swears she’s heard or seen people crawl about, and that theirs isn’t the only party on the island. She’s among the first to see the Woman in Black, and as the story goes, children begin to start killing themselves.
But it isn’t only the children that the Woman is interested in. She’s taking them away to teach Eve a lesson for a past sin.
Set 40 years after the original Daniel Radcliffe-starrer, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death just as might have been set in today’s time.
Sure, the costumes are adequate and the horror of losing one’s loved ones to the Blitz is conveyed quite well through Edward (Oaklee Pendergast), a child who goes mute after losing both parents to German bombs, but director Tom Harper does absolutely nothing to utilise that particular time period to the film’s advantage.
Bringing evacuees to a defunct manor such as Eel Marsh House, to a town like Crythin Gifford sounds just as feasible as any other pretext that screenwriter Jon Croker could have come up with to get a bunch of children and two women to take care of them, to take the train to the haunted house.
Phoebe Fox is far more suited for her role than Radcliffe was for his, age being a major reason here.
While Radcliffe, despite his acting abilities, was clearly too young to be cast as a grieving widower with a four year old son, Fox makes a perfect, if slightly Eva Ibbotson-ish, governess with a dark past.
Helen McCory and Jeremy Irvine, two more recogniseable faces form the supporting cast to Fox’s grieving yet gutsy heroine.
McCory is perfect, even if wasted as a brigadier’s wife with a stiff upper lip, while Irvine — despite his noteworthy acting skills — is made to look more like a Calvin Klein model or a member of a boy band than an WWII RAF pilot who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Harper kills the atmosphere of the first film, trading quality chills for cheap thrills and theatrics, which may frighten you the first few times but it soon becomes easy to predict when something is going to pop up into the frame and scream it’s lungs out at you.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death 2 is scary enough to entertain but won’t play with your mind when you’re home and the lights go out.