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The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death – Review

The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Review
The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Review
The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Review


Release Date: 30 December 2014
Director: Tom Harper
Writer: Christopher Jon Croker [Screenplay] - Susan Hill [Story]
Cast: Helen McCrory - Jeremy Irvine - Phoebe Fox



Sound & Music



Visual Effects

Total Score

User Rating
2 total ratings


Posted January 2, 2015 by

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The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Review:

I love ghost stories. I love reading them and I definitely love watching them. A good horror film will excite my imagination and spark my creativity. A bad one will leave me deeply disappointed and deprived of a good scare.

The first Woman in Black delivered on all counts – terrifying, full of feeling, brilliant performances and a story that lived on with the audience after the credits rolled. As one can imagine, I was thrilled to hear that there would be a sequel. I was not so thrilled to see the sequel go the way of most other sequels – poorly.

Set during World War II, forty years after the events of the first film, Angel of Death follows Eve, a young woman in charge of a group of evacuees who have been moved to Eel Marsh House. Eve is joined by Jean, a strict school-marm who doesn’t believe in mollycoddling the children. Eve appears to be a gentle soul nursing a dark secret. On her way to Eel Marsh, she meets Harry, a young pilot, who incurs the disapproval of Jean but insists on visiting Eel Marsh nonetheless. Soon, the ghost of Eel Marsh starts haunting the children, especially Edward, a small child whose mother was killed the night before the evacuation. Can Eve stop the ghost before she takes Edward?

I am deeply disappointed in Angel of Death. It feels more like a prologue to a film than a complete story in itself. The plot isn’t developed and neither are the characters, who can best be described as cardboard cut-outs. I cannot blame the actors here, they do an admirable job with the little they have. It felt, to me at least, that the actors had more knowledge about their characters than we, the audience, were ever privy too.

Because the characters were so badly drawn out, the relationships they share seem tenuous, at best. Eve is particularly fond of Edward, but it is never explained why. She and Harry become romantically involved but they barely have three scenes together for us to anticipate this relationship.

The scares are recycled from the first film and I would categorise them more as jump scares than plot points. Nothing about the Woman in Black is truly terrifying this time around; we already know her story and why she does what she does. What I was expecting from this film was that there would be a change in the Woman in Black’s behaviour or her motivation but nothing has changed. Of course, it doesn’t help that she is barely on screen.

Most egregiously, the film is cliché. Eve’s dark secret can be deciphered within ten minutes and the ending is obvious from the very start. There isn’t a plot point one hasn’t already seen a mile away and thus the film feels like it was put together in a hurry.

One of my main issues with this film is the setting. Why would you set a horror film during the World War? Isn’t war horrifying enough? Aren’t these children brutalised enough? Edward loses his mother but the Woman in Black decides to haunt him anyway? It is implausible even for a horror film.

I would go as far as to say that Angel of Death has undone the good work of the first Woman in Black. There is nothing outstanding about this film apart from the performances, which are wasted on such a flimsy piece of celluloid. The actors and the audience deserved better. You have failed us, Hammer Films, quite spectacularly so.


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Louis Skye
Freelance Contributor

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