A cold desolate place, void of life, and bent on destroying your soul. No I’m not talking about this movie, I’m talking about January at your local cineplex.
“The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is the latest unnecessary horror sequel to hit screens, following the mildly successful original, from just a couple years back. This time it’s a class of war torn orphans and their teachers who find themselves staying in the home of this vengeful ghost with a thing for going after children, and what happens when one of the caretakers with her own important back story takes it on herself to battle for their safety. All of this happens of course with occasional loud surprise noises and creepy reflections to spare. I don’t know maybe it’s just me, but I’m so bored with these paint by number Horror Suspense movies.
Seriously, nothing really happens. So the goal is to scare right? but just like with any genre, and I fully admit horror is likely my least favorite of all of them, but whatever the genre if I don’t connect to the story or the characters, there is NO REASON for me to care enough to be scared. You can have as many things jump out at me as you like, it just doesn’t matter. In fact of all the genres, it seems to me horror suffers the most from cliche and mediocrity, because of it’s well worn tropes tracks. A case could be made for Rom Coms in this way as well, but with horror it just seems if you don’t do something to shake up the proceedings there just won’t be much that lingers beyond a few scary moments and images. That is if you can actually see them. Cause that’s the other thing about these movies, they are so dark. And I mean literally. I found myself half the movie trying to figure out who was on screen and where they were located, of course it might help if they actually talked every once in a while as while. Just like the first Woman in Black this movie had these long stretches of silence and near darkness that were easily the worst thing about the entire experience. I guess my point is, if you are going to give me a quiet dark room, don’t be surprised when I fall asleep.
Maybe I should make that the best thing, that it’s a nice movie if you need a fairly uninterrupted nap. But since I try not to make my Bests and Worsts sarcastic, I’m sure I can find a couple things I actually liked. First I thought the lead actress was fine, even if everyone else was chewing the scenery a bit too much, and second in those brief moments that you could see the screen I thought it was shot really well, with some beautiful imagery. Which of course makes it even more of a shame that so much of it was hidden in a vain attempt at suspense through darkening the screen.
At the end of the day, The Woman in Black 2 is a run of the mill mostly boring horror sequel with little new to offer. Even if it was well designed and shot it’s reliance on darkness and silence isn’t enough to scare up anything better than a D.