It’s as if set decorators for “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” raided the legendary Hammer Films warehouse to achieve the movie’s creepy look. Pre-tied nooses? Check. Self-rocking chairs? Check. Taxidermied animals with weird eyes? Check. Creepy mechanical toys and dolls? Check. No stone (no doubt with something really icky underneath it) has been left unturned to create a suitably spooky atmosphere, which is great, because the movie is all atmosphere and little else.
The follow-up to Daniel Radcliffe’s 2012 chiller “The Woman in Black” takes place forty years later during World War II. Teacher Eve (Phoebe Fox), school mistress Jean (Helen McCrory) and students are shipped off to Eel Marsh House, a remote house-turned-school to keep them safe during the Blitz. The building has a history. A haunted history.
As nightmares plague young Edward (Oaklee Pendergast) strange things start happening in the house; doors unlock themselves and tragedy ensues. Eve is very sensitive to the needs of the children and the chill that seems to have enveloped the house. Is she losing her mind? Not sleeping well and seeing things? Or is there someone or something out to hurt her and the kids?
Like its predecessor “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is a slow, moody story with jump scares—birds suddenly flying into windows, etc—built in but without any of the ick that makes up so many modern horror films. It also doesn’t come with the scares that most horror film deliver. Dark and disturbing, it’s an old school slow burn that offers up uneasiness rather than cover-your-eyes terror.