The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015)
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The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death Blu-ray Review
Unlike the first film, which was based on the novel by Susan Hill, Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death did not have a book blueprint to go upon to create the film (nor a main character from the first film, since he had perished). Instead, the studio tasked screenwriter Jon Croker (Until I Rise) to create a unique tale that brings in elements from the first film, but can stand on its own.
The story focuses on Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox; Glitch, Eye in the Sky) as she takes a group of children that have been evacuated from London during World War 2 to the Eel Marsh House that was featured in the original Woman in Black. As you can imagine, the original horrors of the house are awakened and Eve Parkins must save herself and the young children from the evil clutches that lie within.
Director Tom Harper (War Book), along with cinematographer George Steel (The Honourable Woman), does an amazing job of setting up the dark, dreary look and feel of the film. From the opening scene in London to the exterior and interior shots of the Eel Marsh House, the film simply pops off the screen into your living room.
Aside from the cinematography, the rest of The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death is unfortunately a forgettable mess. While the story premise is solid and provides us with an engaging exposition, the film fails to excite any type of thrills and chills that the original one did. The cast goes through the motions the best they can, but instead of a Universal Halloween Horror Nights fun house, it is more like riding It's a Small World at Walt Disney World.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death is encoded in AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1 and is simply a treat to view. While the color palette is muted, it is some of the most beautiful imagery I have seen on a Blu-ray in a long time. Objects are super sharp and clear. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix found in the film is as much candy for the ears as the visuals are for the eyes. Sounds pop at perfect places, and the dialog is never muted or muffled.
While the Blu-ray does not contain a plethora of features, it does have a nice selection that fans of the series will easily enjoy including a deleted scene, 2 featurettes, and the theatrical trailer.
Although the original Woman in Black was a genuinely creepy ghost story that had a defined beginning, middle, and end, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death seemed like a quick money grab by the studios that ultimately failed. I did not find it scary or energizing and was somewhat disappointed. Sadly, Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, suffers the same fate that many sequels do. It doesn't live up to the original.
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