The Woman in Black - Angel of Death
Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine
Set in 1941, 40-odd years after the events of the first film, Angel of Death returns viewers to the abandoned mansion still haunted by the titular spectre. To escape the Nazi bombing of London during the war, a couple of school teachers (Fox-Helen McCrory) and a group of their pupils are spirited away to the safety of the mist-shrouded countryside.
Wrong move. Rather than offering respite from the terrors of the Blitz, their arrival re-awakens the vengeful apparition inhabiting their temporary new abode. Cue a cacophony of creaking doors, shuttered windows and a cavernous cellar full of eerie toys and dolls. Traumatised by the recent death of his parents, one of the kids is possessed by the malevolent spook. Meanwhile, his classmates develop suicidal tendencies. The presence of a guilt-ridden air force pilot (Irvine, expressionless) merely adds to the mood of gloom.
Director Tom Harper consistently resorts to recycled genre clichés including thunderous aural effects and unimaginative jumpscares. Can we now have a moratorium on by-the-numbers haunted house horror movies, please?