If the ghost villain of “The Woman in Black: Angel of Death” can kill at will then why didn’t she just kill the hero characters when she had the chance? The answer to that seems to be that if she had simply killed the people attempting to thwart her plan to kidnap a little boy, there would not have been a movie. That, to me, is the worst possible answer to that question.
“The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is a sequel to 2013 film that starred Daniel Radcliffe which was legitimately creepy and compelling. The sequel is set in the same rundown haunted mansion and is equally dark and foreboding as it was in the Radcliffe movie but the resultant film is far less compelling.
Unknown Phoebe Fox stars in “The Woman in Back 2: Angel of Death” as Eve Parkins, a teacher in World War 2 era England. With bombs falling on London children are being evacuated and Eve, along with veteran schoolmarm Mrs. Hogg (Helen McCrory), have been tasked with accompanying a group of children to a home in the remote countryside.
Unfortunately, the home located in the midst of rising and falling tides surrounding a barren island and muddy road, is already inhabited by the dangerous specter of a dead Governess. The evil presence in the home quickly chooses Edward (Oaklee Pendergast) as her target and thus begins a battle for the child between the ghost and Eve. Along for the ride is a World War 2 pilot, Harry (Jeremy Irvine) who provides Eve with a love interest and protector.
The only thing “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” accomplished in its 98 minute runtime was to convince me to watch the first “Woman in Black” again. That film was filled with surprises including Daniel Radcliffe’s unpretentious starring performance. I went into “Woman in Black” referring to him as Harry Potter and came out respectfully using his actual name; a minor symbol of newfound respect.
The central issue I have with “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” is that it never justifies its own existence. On top of being an unnecessary sequel, the plot fails to create a believably frightening scenario. The villain as established about midway through the film, can kill at will but does not do so because the plot needs her not to.
There are no rules established for this ‘Angel of Death.’ The ‘Angel of Death’ has a back story but the plot seems to assign her a child to fixate upon instead of giving a solid, logical reason for her choice. And then there is the simple matter of why the ‘Angel of Death’ allows Eve and her love interest to get in her way. Why doesn’t she just kill everyone? She clearly has the power as demonstrated by the modest body count on display.
The ‘Angel of Death’ doesn’t kill the plot protagonists simply because the muddy plot requires her not to and that is simply bad plotting. Even if the filmmaking had been more dynamic, the characters more memorable or the production design more ominous looking, the lack of a well reasoned plot would doom “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.” Taken all together and you have a truly shoddy effort.