WARNING. The following is Rated N for “never, ever”, “no, thank you” and “NOPE”: the brand-spanking new trailer for The Woman in Black: The Angel of Death, the sequel to the breakout British hit of 2012, The Woman In Black.
Perhaps conspicuous by his absence, there is no Daniel Radcliffe this time around – Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCrory lead a largely unfamiliar cast back into the path of the Woman in Black. Taking over directorial duty is Tom Harper, who earlier this year helmed a few episodes of BBC drama Peaky Blinders. The Angel of Death (for brevity’s sake) picks up some forty years after the events of the first film, whereupon a group of young evacuees flee to the decaying Eel Marsh House.
Both in tone and nature, Angel of Death doesn’t appear – at first glance – to stray too far from the first movie, yet again boasting Grudge-like long-haired vengeance-fuelled supernaturalism, weird antique dolls twisting to a shrill piano score…screaming. As well as a few well-timed scares, you may notice the usual horror tropes: the seance gone awry, spooky-sounding nursery rhyme sung at ¾ speed, children in mortal danger, etc. All set against the distinctly depressing backdrop of a brutal war, which, rather than a clever statement about war, monsters and the loss of innocence, may simply be a plot device to explain why they didn’t just up and leave after the first night. Do keep an eye out just towards the end, there, too.
Great timing, a carnival-like ghost train atmosphere – reinforced by a handful of decent performances – were the Woman in Black’s strongest selling points, and its sequel is unlikely to change tact based on this evidence. Even without any obvious star power, Angel of Death seems likely to be another big hit on British shores.