Woman In Black 2 Angel Of Death DVD Review

Nightmares are made of this

A group of infants are sent away from London during the Blitz to Eel Marsh House mansion in the country. Dr Rhodes takes them all to the Mansion and they see it has fallen into disrepair. The children are looked after by Eve Perkin and the schools new headmistress and horrible lady, Jean Hogg. While staying there Edward, a newly orphaned boy has trouble sleeping and speaking. He is not liked by the other children and bullied by them. Eve feels sorry for him and try as she might, he will not let her in. All this changes when he is trapped in a room and sees something that no one else wished to see. Now the truth will come out and the dark will reclaim the light.

Hammer studios or Hammer house of horrors or Hammer films were the pinnacle film studio of the UK. They produced profitable and sometimes outrage films that were almost solely derived from the horror genre. When in the 1980s they fell foul of the trend toward big budgets and blockbusters, it seemed the end of an institution. Then along came the original Woman in Black and the studio came to the fore again. This sequel is however playing a dangerous game of roulette. In genre cinema the choice for a sequel usually comes about because of popular demand over artistic merit. Take Saw, Halloween or Hostel as examples and you see varying degrees of success. From the superb like Halloween 2, which kept the pace and style to the awful like Saw 2, which couldnt decide what it was that it would do.

Nice to see you...

Woman in Black AOD has accomplished that balancing act well enough. It mutates the previous film by adding distance to proceedings. It has themes that are familiar but shifted via gender and age. It has altered the tone becoming more morbid but has retained that looming and ominous threat. The cast are more innocent but also slightly more nasty as well. We see their lives have been restructured by a huge historical event, which is outside their own influence and plays the tune we all know of mid 40s horror and fantasy. Connecting the piece to Narnia and Dead of Night. We still have the haunted house, jumps, bumps and thumps but with fresh exposition to excite. These elements have been thought about and no doubt considered but it still has an underlaying problem. This to put it simply is in the ambition of the piece.

He looks like a right wrong un

It wants to play it safe and secure that needed box office. It wants to keep the film British and hold us up as romantisied and demonised. It wants to play on the past horror studios legacy and its future prospects by ensuring it has room to grow. What it does not do is make a firm enough stab at a film that will last. The legacy of this film is that we will have at least another and it will probably be coasting along speed, just as this is. I hope not but am resigned to the worst.

 

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