Horror buffs no doubt remember how, not so long ago, Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe brought out a reasonably scary enterprise in "The Woman in Black." Perhaps less surprisingly, this decent enterprise was followed up with a sequel, which recently came out in "The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death." This is a piece that comes with good news and bad news, and the two will be almost evenly balanced.
"The Woman in Black 2" takes us to World War II England, and the mass exodus staged by London children. While those who had family in the English countryside were sent there, ostensibly out of harm's way, those who didn't have such family were sent to volunteered homes there instead. This follows one such group of children sent out to a home in the countryside...a home haunted by a fairly familiar entity. This is going to make a bad situation so very much worse for those children, and it all comes down to the kids' caregivers and one lone RAF officer, sent to an unusual airfield, to save the children from a fate worse than death.
The good news here is that those who watch this should find a reasonably entertaining, reasonably crisp horror title afoot. There are some good scares, and some very atmospheric moments considering that we're in a house so old that it might as well just have "HAUNTED" painted across the front in big red letters. So yes, "The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death" does deliver the creepy as only a whole room full of English children can.
The bad news, however, is that this compares to the original in the same way a hay wagon compares to a Porsche. Yes, both are technically vehicles in that they have four wheels and move, but that's where the comparison stops, and virtually every comparison to the original will fall flat. It's nowhere near as creepy and atmospheric as its predecessor, and is also short on scares comparatively speaking. Daniel Radcliffe was good enough to carry most of his installment himself, but in this one, a whole cast can't keep it up.
The ending is sound and features a twist; watch out for one last good jump scare to top things off, and potentially set up another sequel, which may or may not be a good thing given both how the second one failed against the first and how the series as a whole is still pretty decent overall.
Special features include your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, trailers for "House at the End of the Street," "Wrong Turn 6," "Sleepy Hollow Season One," "The Lazarus Effect", "The Pyramid," "American Horror Story: Freakshow," and "Oculus," as well as a general slate of releases coming from Relativity under the title "Relativity Explosion."
"The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death" is a sound piece, and really only fails when compared to its predecessor. Viewed on its own, it's not half bad, but viewed as part of a larger series, this one takes a serious blow as it can barely hold up to the first one.