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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Film Review: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Phoebe Fox ... Eve Parkins
Helen McCrory ... Jean Hogg
Amelia Pidgeon ... Joyce
Jude Wright ... Tom
Oaklee Pendergast ... Edward
Jeremy Irvine ... Harry Burnstow
Adrian Rawlins ... Dr. Rhodes
Leanne Best ... The Woman In Black
40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive, awakening the house's darkest inhabitant.
So, saw this last night and I have to say it's a good film, but unfortunately, unlike the original, it's not a great film. To be honest I was somewhat disappointed, I was really, really hoping for great.
This, however, has nothing to do with the cast, who are superb. For a small cast, the majority of whom are children, they did a fantastic job. Phoebe Fox is great as Eve, who is the main protagonist, and you do feel her pain and her fear. I won't put in spoilers, but there is a part where she is alone towards the end and she really shines. The fact that the three main leads are all female (I'm including TWIB in that) is also awesome.
The sets are good too and there are plenty of dark corners and locked doors and cobwebs for any horror fan to appreciate. It is all very creepy and well done; the perfect setting.
The plot moves forward at a decent pace most of the way through and it holds together okay. There are plenty of scary moments and some genuinely jumpy parts that had the cinema I was in making noises of fright. The way they explain why giving The Woman in Black back Nathaniel at the end of the first movie didn't work is superb and there are lots of great touches like that.
It is a well thought out and well written film, but (you knew there was a but coming didn't you), I was somewhat unsatisfied in parts. I did not leave the cinema thinking 'I must buy this on pre-order immediately', like I did with the first one. I shall, no doubt, add it to my collection at some point, but I'm not running to do so.
The fact the Crythin Gifford is now a deserted village, when in the original it was a small market town bothered me. I wanted to know more about exactly what had happened. I could have bought into it, but we weren't given enough information.
The fact that they mentioned the tides and the causeway once, but it didn't seem to affect when they could come and go from the island bothered me. I think the tides could have been used to build up the tension much better, the same way they were in the original.
Why anyone would evacuate a load of children close to an airfield that was a target for German bombers that was close enough so that it wasn't far from the village when they were being evacuated to get away from German bombers, bothered me.
The fact that The Woman in Black seemed to be able to read minds, bothered me. I always thought in the original that she watched and that was how she knew everything and she could control the children, but she didn't seem to have any effect on the adults.
The fact that there was a sacrificial lamb that was so obvious it might as well have been written in neon bothered me.
Other things that are spoilers bothered me and the ending was the obvious one. I would have preferred there to be more subtlety. Eve has a personal back story, which is great, I loved that, but I thought it was all used in a very straightforward manner. I wanted some less straight lines in the tale.
Don't get me wrong, it's a good film, I think I just had very high expectations. If you liked the first one and you enjoy some suspense horror definitely go see it. I've seen some reviews that think it's better than the first one, however, I have to say, in my opinion, it is not quite there. Where I would have given the first one six stars on a five star rating system :), this one is a four.
Have you seen it? What did you think? If not, have you seen the first one? What do you look for in a good ghost story?