The Woman in Black: Angel of Death review

>Doing what it does best, Hammer Horror returns with a sequel to 2012's The Woman in Black. This one takes place 40 years later, when a group of children and their teachers find shelter from World War II in Eel Marsh House. But unbeknown to them, they are to face horrors of an entirely different kind.

Angel of Death is entirely pointless; the story explored in its predecessor is barely built upon and we are given more or less the same thing. Except, instead of a spooky tale with an icy atmosphere, there is a cheap attempt at scares and very tame horror overall. Perhaps what made the 2012 film so effective was focus on just one character. We were thrown in to the story with Daniel Radcliffe's Arthur Kipps being forced to witness the woman in black's awful haunting just as he did. But here, we have a very bland and basic narrative. There are absolutely no surprises and the film trudges along it's predictable route until it's ridiculously foreseeable ending. The film's attempt to create a sense of claustrophobia falls flat, because the characters have each other for comfort. The woman in Black never feels like a true threat, because she is outnumbered. The Woman in Black should be laden with an unbearable atmosphere and ear-piercing silence, it shouldn't feel like a slasher film.

The film is beautifully shot and the technical elements of Angel of Death can't be faulted. The mist-laden moors are eerie enough and there is definitely a macabre feel running through the film. However, the story itself does not live up to the horror of the setting and the rest of Angel of Death is a disappointment. As a huge fan of Hammer's modern film-making it was a shame that this didn't have more to offer. Even the very average The Quiet Ones had an interesting story to tell, it too was light on the horror, but, at least there was an exploration of an intriguing premise. The Angel of Death is an unforgettable experience that will not leave you sleeping with the light on pondering your safety on the dark walk home.

I'm sure those who are easily frightened will find a lot of pleasure in this, but for those who like their horror downright terrifying, little here is impressive. Angel of Death is typical mainstream horror that is aimed at the masses and, no doubt, many will rush to catch this.

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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