All right, it is time to see the sequel to the Woman in Black. While I do like the saying about not judging a book by its cover…you often can. There are some movies where you know that they will not be good and vice versa. It would take something rather dramatic for me to dislike Age of Ultron and the trailer for something like Mad Max would have to be extremely misleading for me to believe that it is good. These things aren’t set in stone, but I have a fairly good idea of what to expect before I head in. This film essentially met my expectations so my gut instinct was right on this one.
Well, this may be the second film, but it is actually a prequel. That’s fairly disappointing I suppose since it is always preferable to look to the future as the plot can advance. After all, we basically know the ending thanks to the plot twist about the swamp in the first film right? Well, the backstory was only lightly touched upon so you still may not guess the ending although you will certainly predict the twist. Now, let’s really talk about the plot.
Eve is the main character and she heads to a mysterious house along with a group of orphans/kids who need protecting. World War II is raging on after all so the heroes have to get to safety. Eve is not the headmistress, but she helps out along with the leader. The house seems to be evil and strange occurrences like moving doors and sounds start to happen, but the main characters try to tune this out. The area is strategically sound as the rising tide makes it impossible to approach the house during most parts of the day unless you have a boat. That being said, someone appears to have infiltrated the island and wanders from tree to tree! Uh oh…can Eve defeat The Woman in Black?
When was the last time that you sneezed when watching a film. Was it when Lex Luthor kicked Superman down a flight of stairs or when Godzilla was crushed by Mothra many years ago? You may get in a few sneezes here as The Woman In Black tries to make her presence known while also being vague. The film is short as it is nowhere near 2 hours so there isn’t a lot of time for the villains to do anything. A surprisingly large amount of time is just given for the heroes to wander about and wonder what they are going to do. Still, when the Woman in Black does arrive…she is not very impressive. Evidently, she can roar and scream, but she can’t do anything else. She doesn’t display any level of super strength and the heroes could likely beat her in a fight if they actually tried. The problem is that the characters always run away from her instead of trying to do anything. The main guy actually backs away when he sees one of the possessed kids. Dude…it…he..is still a kid!
Harry is the main guy and he doesn’t look very good. He’s a decent character and he means well, but the sob story just came out of the blue. He needed one though to fit the film. In this kind of film, everyone has something that they wish to hide or a dark past that has yet to be explored. It happens almost every time. At least he went out like a man and had a decent ending even though he should have been able to put up a better fight. At least he made the right call,
Eve is fairly generic for a lead, but she does try her best to do the right thing. There’s certainly no real negative things to say about her. The romance is rather rushed, unnecessary, and also generic, but she can only claim half of the blame for that. She locked the door and warned everyone about the supernatural so Eve was a lot more helpful than the rest of the cast. Naturally, this did make her a bit of a target. The villains can’t have any of that!
As per usual, the horror films love to give demons a whole lot of props. They can possess you and totally override your free will. It is a little sad as hollywood is brainwashing us into looking at only half of the equation. Demons are real, but their power is greatly exaggerated. Don’t underestimate how lethal they can be, but they are certainly not all powerful. In this film, the humans have no chance against them. The demons are basically just toying with the heroes for as long as they can and the twist ending basically solidifies this.
As per usual, we have a twist ending. I have grown to expect them in horror films and they are needed since every film should have a twist ending. That being said, it is handled in a very generic way as everyone knew what to expect. Seriously….there was no other way that the ending was going to be handled at that point. A more subtle twist like the Woman in Black growing wings and shooting energy blasts would have been nice, but this is better than nothing I suppose.
Some films like to start off with an epic intro while others prefer to start off on a low note. Unfortunately, this film had some brief animal violence to start things off. A lamb/sheep got caught on the fence, which injured it. This wasn’t a terrible moment of animal violence, but it was completely unnecessary and did nothing to help the film. I don’t know whose idea it was to add this animal, but it was certainly a terrible one.
It is also unfortunate that there are kids in this film. Seeing the demons basically force them to destroy themselves was very bad. It is one of the things that will always hurt a film. Keep the children out of it and just give us unlikable characters to defeat instead. This just makes the film not enjoyable to watch and one of the reasons that it wouldn’t be able to succeed. There’s also a crazy, blind guy who is really only here to give us some more jump scenes. I don’t think there was a point to adding him and there aren’t supposed to be other people in the area. This guy is definitely a security risk if I ever saw one.
So, the film played out as it would be expected to. There is a monster/demon who is running around trying to wreck lives and turn the heroes against each other. We have animal violence and the humans are helpless against these forces . It doesn’t make for a very engaging film and nothing ends up happening. The heroes basically just stayed at the house for a while and eventually left. If nothing else, prequels are supposed to serve a purpose and I didn’t see one here. We could have not made the prequel and literally nothing would change. If you’re looking for development for the Woman in Black, you’re not going to find anything new here. It is basically just the same rambling from the 1st film.
Overall, The Woman In Black 2 is a film that I wouldn’t recommend. It suffers from the typical problems of the horror genre and there’s ultimately no point to it. We don’t learn any new data so the prequel may have not even come out. Actually, a mild correction there. This is actually still a sequel and takes place 40 years after the 1st one. Wow…you would never guess that and this is actually the biggest twist that the film series could have given me. In a way..the writers deserve some praise for this. The film isn’t fun and the only kudos that I could give it is the fact that the film’s ending is slightly happier than you may have expected. I thought that the whole cast would just drown or something, but the actual ending is much better. We also get the twist ending, which hints that everyone is doomed, but maybe they’ll be okay. If you want a scary film, check out Justice League Starcrossed as the Earth gets invaded. Can the heroes win!?