Monday, January 5, 2015

Movie Review: The Woman in Black 2

The first one was better. I know, not the best way to start out a movie review. It wasn't terrible. The scares were awesome. Sympathetic characters. But, man that plot was full of holes.

The atmosphere was on point. This was good for some horror story inspiration. I mean look at the house. Eel Marsh was super creepy.

Candlelight only, in total disarray, attached to a cemetery, a creepy basement and dolls that move on their own. The Woman in Black 2 is a great example of how to do atmosphere. They didn't just rely on jump scares. We had shadowy figures at the edge of the camera, ghostly hands reaching through the ceiling, phantom noises, ghost children standing around in shadow.

If you blinked, you missed something.

On top of that, The Woman in Black 2 pushed the envelope with the whole ghost forcing children to kill themselves plot. Without all I mentioned above, that...that is just disturbing.
The scares weren't overdone.

The fun ended there. For writers, you know that movement when you have to figure out how to get from point A to point B. It has to make sense in the story or readers will call BS.

The Woman in Black 2 plot didn't bother with the whole makeing sense part. Felt like the writers wanted to put a group of children in the house with a child-killing ghost. They didn't bother fully explaining why the kids had to live in this particular unlivable mansion.

The movie is set during World War 2. London is getting bombed so children are sent away for their safety. Somehow, kids ended up in Eel Marsh with their headmistress and a teacher. How did that group end up in that house?It's connected to a town that's been destroyed. Only one crazy guy lives there. The groups' only link to Eel Marsh was this sketchy doctor who clearly knew about the house's history. 

The movie never went into the doctor's role.

The Woman in Black 2 seemingly started off with the ghost becoming attached to a boy and killing those who hurt him. For some reason, the story shifted to the ghost punishing the teacher for abandoning her child years ago. It made no sense.
When the teacher realized something sinister was going on, she gathered everyone and left the house. Smart. Instead of getting on a train, she decided to hide out in a plane hanger until morning. What the hell!

The plot was really the only problem. The actors were great. The characters sympathetic- a bit cliche though.

We have the battle-axe with a heart of gold who doesn't believe in this ghost stuff until it's staring her in the face.
The hot pilot who was labeled a coward and banished to the middle of nowhere. The doting teacher who hides a dark secret behind her warm smile. Of course, they fell in love.

The child who lost his parents in the bombing. Traumatized, he stopped speaking. The ghost becomes attached to him. Shocker.
There's really nothing wrong with these characters. I'm glad they have depth. I liked them all, but man do they lack originality.

Overall, the movie was average. It's good for a night in. If you're planning on seeing it, wait til it's available for rent on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.