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Film / The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

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The sequel to the 2012 film produced by Hammer Horror, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death is directed by Tom Harper.

Set during the Blitz, it follows a young school teacher named Eve (Phoebe Fox) who accompanies her class when they are evacuated from London to escape the bombings. The group is sent to Eel Marsh House, a decrepit and distinctly eerie old mansion that's been abandoned for years. They soon realize, of course, that they are not alone, and that a dark presence with a decades-old grudge is haunting Eel Marsh House.

This film contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: In the decades since the events of the first film, the village of Crythin Gifford has all but become this. It seems that because they were living with a vengeful ghost that murders their children every single time she's seen, everyone in town either left, or the population died off within a generation due to the children dying. The village's only remaining inhabitant is a blind man named Jacob, who apparently cannot be harmed by the ghost as he can't see her. This hasn't stopped her from driving him insane however.
    • Eel Marsh House is still one of these, though it does serve a current purpose as a makeshift boarding school for evacuees fleeing the blitz. The building itself is in an even worse state than it was before, as nobody has lived there in over 30 years.
  • Agent Mulder: Harry believes Eve's recounts about the Woman in Black almost immediately, and later even scolds Jean for not wanting to reveal the actual reason why they are being taken to the fake airport. It probably helps that he listened to Alice Drablow's recordings on a wax cylinder, who revealed that she as well was experiencing something supernatural occurring in the house.
  • Agent Scully: Jean, so much. She regrets it later. Dr. Rhodes is also this, though his insistence that all things supernatural are simple PTSD can certainly be attributed to the stress of having to be on the front line of the war.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Alice Drablow's phonograph recording; it doesn't get creepy until the end, where, based on her words and the fear in her voice, Jennet appears before her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Eve and Edward manage to escape from Jennet's clutches, though at the cost of Harry's life; he sacrifices himself to get them up to safety in exchange for being taken by Jennet. However, The Stinger reveals that Jennet follows them all the way to London. But at least, Eve and Edward are safe... for now.
  • Blitz Evacuees: The students of Jean's school are evacuated to the Eel Marsh House while London is under the height of the bombings. Problem is, they're the first ones to come and don't know that the house is anything but ordinary...
  • Casting Gag: Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame played the lead in the first film. His on-screen dad, Adrian Rawlins, has a big part in this sequel. Ironically enough, Adrian Rawlins also played the lead role in the 1989 version of the film as well.
    • Helen McCrory, who plays Headmistress Jean Hogg in this film, also had a part in the Harry Potter films, as Narcissa Malfoy.
  • Cat Scare: Provided first by a child, then later by a bird.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Early in the film, on the first night after the students arrive at the Eel Marsh House, they are shown praying to protect themselves from the darkness before sleeping. The exact same praying is used to protect them from the Woman in Black during the bombing of the fake airport, though of course, Jean inevitably messes it up.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The fragile ceiling with a hole directly above Edward's bed, above which is the nursery room where Jennet hanged herself. Jennet uses this so she could appear to Edward and influence the children to commit suicide, but much later on, Eve uses this to bypass Jennet's barricade on the nursery room.
  • Creepy Basement: A number of pivotal scenes take place there.
  • Creepy Cemetery: It even has ominous fog.
  • Creepy Child: Edward, especially after the hide-and-seek incident.
  • Creepy Doll: "Where did you find it, Edward?"
  • Dark Is Evil: The Woman in Black is terrifying, not least because of her wardrobe.
  • Dean Bitterman: The shrewish Flat-Earth Atheist headmistress Jean Hogg. She does admit however that part of her nature is just her way of coping with the stress of her sons all off fighting in the war.
  • Death of a Child: Once the Woman in Black has been seen, a child will inevitably die a horrifying death. There's nothing anyone can do to stop it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: It's been thirty years since the events of the first film, and Jennet is still at it.
    • One of the children who bullies Edward (if it can even be called that) is forced to kill himself and have his soul become trapped in limbo forever...all because he stole Edward's drawing.
  • Driven to Suicide: Children under the ghost's influence.
  • Dungeon Bypass: When Jennet locks the door to the nursery room so Eve can't save Edward from drowning to death, Eve exploits the fragile floor (which Jennet had used previously so she could appear to Edward) by stomping on it repeatedly so it breaks off and sends her straight to the ground floor.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Yeah, sure Harry, show Eve your photo with your comrades. Even if they already died, that doesn't mean you're going to survive the week...
  • Fate Worse than Death: As with the first movie, any child who is forced to kill themselves under Jennet's influence has their soul barred from the afterlife, where they are then made into her puppets forever. Eve fights like hell against the ghost to save Edward from this terrible fate.
  • First-Name Basis: Enforced by Harry, who insists that Eve calls him by his first name, despite being a complete stranger. Eve at first tries to be on a Last-Name Basis with him, but when it's clear that the two are attracted to each other, she tells him to call her by her first name. Meanwhile, Eve and Jean call each other with last names when children are around, but go by first names in private.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The ghost has a fondness for lurking ominously in the background, and can be spotted in a number of otherwise innocuous scenes.
  • Ghost Town: Crythin Gifford seems to have turned into one. The only person still living there is a crazy blind man.
  • Ghostly Gape: The Woman in Black, especially when seen from a distance.
  • Grande Dame: The uptight Jean Hogg, a woman who expects things to be high class under her watch.
  • Happily Adopted: Edward, by Eve at the end of the movie.
  • Haunted Heroine: It is revealed that Eve had a baby, but was forced to give it up. This traumatic event makes her all the more vulnerable to the Woman in Black.
  • Haunted House: Eel Marsh House, much as it was in the first movie.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Harry dives into the marsh to save Eve and Edward, and dies in the process, getting dragged into the darkness by the ghost. The final shot suggests that his sacrifice was in vain, as she has followed them to London.
  • Hope Spot: After escaping death in the marsh, Eve believes the ghost is gone for good. She's not.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: In the trailer, but not the film.
  • Jump Scare: Frequently. Probably more so than in the first film.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The boy who steals Edward's drawing and locks him in the nursery. He gets his comeuppance in what could be considered an instance of disproportionate retribution.
  • Love at First Sight: It's clear that the first time Eve and Harry meet inside the train taking them to Crythin Gifford, they already look at each other romantically. Possibly justified, since both characters are traumatized by the events of their life (Eve had her son taken away from her, while Harry has Survivor Guilt over his comrades dying in an air battle), and this is combined with the danger of the Blitz. People do bond faster when they are conflicted/in danger.
  • Mama Bear: Not biological mothers, but never ever try to hurt Edward while Eve is around. Looking at you, Jennet.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: A set of monkeys in these poses is just one of the creepy artifacts in Eel Marsh House. They're probably just toys.
  • My Greatest Failure: Harry considers his inability to save his mates from drowning in their crashed plane as this. He feels immense guilt over their deaths, but manages to eventually redeem himself by pulling a Heroic Sacrifice, saving Eve and Edward from drowning at the hands of the ghost children.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Just like the first film, this is used to very good effect.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Eve gives Harry a peck after he reveals the reason why he takes the children to the fake airport: because he loves seeing her being a Stepford Smiler when everyone else is scared. Turns into a Last Kiss as Harry doesn't survive not long afterward.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: In one of the nastier jump scare moments, a nun in Eve's dream is revealed to be the Woman in Black.
  • Ominously Open Door: The first sign that there are supernatural goings on in the house is that the door to the nursery keeps opening by itself, even after people repeatedly close it. Doctor Rhodes even notes upon their arrival that the door should be locked.
  • Parental Substitute: Eve and Jean have the stress of acting as parents as well as teachers to the children while the whole of the UK is bombed by the Germans - particularly to Edward, who has lost both of his parents. At the end, it's implied that Eve has formally adopted Edward.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Eve is shown experiencing flashback nightmares.
  • Scare Chord: Every time the titular Woman in Black makes a close-up appearance.
  • Series Continuity Error: A small one with the door to the nursery. In the first film, the door opened from the right, whereas in this film, it now opens from the left.
  • Stepford Smiler: Eve has shades of this, as numerous times it's mentioned that she smiles to cope with awful events.
  • Tender Tears: Surprisingly, Harry. He tears up a bit whenever the subject of the disastrous air battle that he participated is brought up. Even being confronted with a body of water is enough to make him teary-eyed. Combine this with the fact that the Eel Marsh House is surrounded by bogs...
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Woman in Black.