The Woman in Black 2. Angel of Death 2014
Original title: The Woman in Black 2. Angel of Death
Duration: 1h 38min
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Release: 2 January 2015 (USA)
Director: Tom Harper
Writers: Jon Croker (screenplay), Jon Croker
Stars: Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox
The Lady in Black 2 a couple of years ago, we horror fans received a pleasant surprise with the premiere of The Woman in Black, an elegant example of Victorian gothic horror. In contrast to the genre products from across the Atlantic, this English production achieved its overwhelming intentions without the gore excesses or the knock-on effects that so little has done for genre cinema, and built a beautiful ghost tale with moments really bright. Others were not so much, so in the end, there was that bitter aftertaste before a movie that could have been something else. In any case, it was a breath of fresh air in his quest to rescue sensations of the most classic terror.
Among the claims of that first part, the presence of Daniel Radcliffe in his first adult role, after years as an image of Harry Potter, and the return of a legendary producer in the history of horror cinema; nothing more and nothing less than the Hammer returned from some moldy grave to cause chills of the house.
This resurrected Hammer found a vein in the sinister lady who stars in the first installment, and it was a matter of time before we returned to the swampy settings where the haunted mansion on duty is located. The problem is that the result is quite poor, and this vengeance from beyond the grave falls far short of its predecessor.
The Lady in Black 2We change our era, and the action of The Angel of Death puts us in the middle of World War II, with London under constant bombardment by Nazi aviation. Otherwise, despite this new historical context, little has changed in the dark world of The Lady in Black. The rickety mansion is one step closer to ruin, because of neglect and the passage of time. But its sadly celebrated hostess continues with the same eagerness to make life impossible for the unsuspecting living who dare to break into its territory. In this case, the victims of revenge are a young governess and her young wards, refugees in the countryside from the disasters of war.
Tom Harper, the director of the new foray into this dismal story, collects the witness of his predecessor, James Watkins, and makes an excellent setting that becomes the best asset of a film with such clear intentions. Harper draws a misty, dreamlike world, anchored in the tradition of the purest Gothic tale, thanks to the ornate damp stone wrapper and abandoned rooms. Despite these notable efforts to make the film serious, The Angel of Death staggers dissipates in the odious comparison, insists on almost absolute faith in its magic tricks, without remembering that we already knew that the rabbit was in the top hat.
The Lady in Black 2 Does not add anything to the mythology around the furious ghostly figure that terrifies in the shadow. We already know everything there is to know thanks to the first part, there is no mystery or shocking twists, and the few secrets that the characters hide are obvious. At the time of the revelations, there is no surprise, a capital error in a film that depends, precisely, on its ability to break the expectations of the viewer. The effort in this return to common places us on the edge of boredom, without any hint of novelty and dragged by characters totally devoid of charisma, a thousand times seen. Very well defended by the outstanding acting work, yes, although caught in its own cliché essence.
The angel of death is a victim of his own laziness, of the suicidal thought behind believing that the rules that were valid for his first part work on any occasion. That robs the identity of a film that, on the other hand, is an exercise in elegance and ambiance building, but exceptionally empty in solutions.
The angel of death, with its clumsiness, is not a disaster and will give followers of the traditional Gothic a good time. Because it is much better than most of what horror movies generally offer in our rooms. And that doesn’t mean anything good for the genre.