January is kind of the graveyard for new releases. For some reason or another, people don’t tend to head out to the movies a lot in January. Generally, I dread the movies that come out in January for one of two reasons. Either they’re terrible and the studio was trying to hide their release, or they’re wonderful but will never see the audience they deserve. When it comes to The Woman in Black 2, I have to say, the issue is decidedly the first one.
We start out the movie with a group of displaced orphans. The caretakers Eve (Phoebe Fox) and Jean (Helen McCrory) are forced to bring everyone to the desolate and eerie British countryside. Of course, it isn’t long before Eve starts to realize that the house is not as safe as it seems. With the help of a handsome pilot (Jeremy Irvine), Eve begins to investigate. Soon, she learns her reason for being at the house might not entirely be coincidental.
The entire movie drags. It drags in the beginning and it drags during the investigation. By the time the real scares show up, I was already yawning and barely paying attention.
I’m not sure why the phrase “Angel of Death” appears at all. Apparently, the woman in black is the Angel of Death? If so, maybe she should stop creeping around and actually kill some people. Just a thought. After all, the angel of death is kind of supposed to be all business. This lady is too busy stalking people to actually get anything done.
The movie is redundant, dour and drab. While it does have some genuine chills in the first half, it slows down and just delivers a horror atmosphere without actually being a horror. One thing I hate about horror movies is when they rely on jump scares. They’re the movie equivalent of the bad guy coming out and screaming ‘boo.’
To anyone who has ever had an older brother, you will know that only works for so long, until eventually you are completely numb to all surprises. There are other ways to scare people besides jump scares. Heck, the right sentence can give people more chills than a jump scare. In evidence of this, I submit the infamous line “the calls are coming from inside the house.”
They probably could have called this movie ‘generic horror movie’ and lost absolutely none of the effect. That’s what it was. From the creaky Victorian mansion, to the equally creepy little kid, the movie played out exactly as you suspected it would, with no surprises at all.
I will say it’s stylish and the atmosphere was well done. This was clearly an expensive movie to make. But I imagine it would have been a lot better if they’d actually thrown some genuine scares in there.
It’s a shame that the original is so much better than the sequel. The movie started off promising, but fell flat at the halfway mark. It’s a movie that feels like it should be scary, but isn’t.
WE GAVE IT: 2.5 Stars