Revenge of the Sequel

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

I was excited when I found out that Hammer Films was making a sequel to the Woman in Black. The first movie was charged with energy and scares, and Daniel Radcliffe gave an amazing performance. When I found out the same production team was behind the sequel, I had high expectations. But I shouldn’t have.

woman_in_black_angel_of_death_01The plot takes place during World War 2 when school children have been evacuated to Eel Marsh House to get out of the fighting zones. A young teacher named Eve tries to help the children adapt especially one young man who seems to be haunted by his past. Add a love interest for Eve, and the story starts to go off the rails.

The movie was not at all scary. The best moment was just a repeat of the rocking chair sequence from the first movie. The movie lapses into cheap thrills that every other B horror movie falls back on. Be prepared for creepy hands and eyes that stare at you through holes, but do be worried about being afraid.

The convoluted plot adds nothing to the Woman in Black’s mythos except that if you can’t see her, she can’t hurt you (so I was right as a child?). The plot does not expand on anything related to her or the house’s former owners. Viewers learn things that were in the first film and nothing more. While this makes the sequel self-contained, it’s not really interesting enough to be its own story. This sequel falls flat and the only horror is the price you paid to rent it.

 

Taken 3

Taken 3 follows suit of another popular trilogy (though one funnier and less bloody). The Liam Neeson action franchise ends like the raucous Hangover trilogy. The third movie is so different than its predecessor that truly truly makes the film less like it doesn’t fit into the franchise and therefore is a bad movie.

But Taken 3, like Hangover 3, isn’t a bad movie in its own right. The movie is standard Neeson fare and he continues to kick ass. (Yes, there is a section where he performs the Grandpa Run, but he’s still a bad ass.) But the plot stays state side and becomes a domestic affair. No one is taken, instead his ex-wife is killed and he has been framed. He use his unique set of skills to escape from the police as well as chase down the culprit.

The first Taken was about brutal violence while the second one speaks of mercy. The third is about just enough. Kill downloadthose who need to be killed and only hurt those as much as needed. This installment and its predecessor have been criticized for lack of insane violence paraded in the first film but honestly the violence mimics the journey of this man.

Gone are the sprawling landscapes of faraway places and this also adds to the different tone of the film. I claim that it is not bad, just different. The movie is about home and what is truly in Bryan’s heart. I can understand how these changes negatively affect those looking for over the top violence or exotic destinations. Personally, I am just glad it’s a break from bad spy movies like 3 Days to Kill and Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit.

Watch This Not That

Recent Horror Movie

Watch this….

 

Woman in Black

This Daniel Radcliffe vehicle is a superb gothic horror tale with tight writing and great visual effects. Radcliffe is a solicitor trying to clean out a haunted house but is delayed by seeing the famed Woman in Black. The movie does not go for the easy scares, building tension that keeps you on the end of your seat, and Radcliffe proves his abilities as an actor. This is a great throwback to the time before horror movies were slasher films.

…Not That

Silent House

A gimmick movie edited to look like it was filmed in one fluid shot leaves the viewer wanting more. A girl goes back to a child hood house to clean it up to sale when a stranger breaks into the house and causes her and her family terror. While the gimmick could have been really cool, the two directors saw fit to give you odd angles, not show the actual violence, or even anything that was going on. The constant dark and concentration on static objects gave the directors obvious places to do cuts but nothing ever really frightens you. Top the film off with an ending that has been done better in many other movies, this remake gives you no scares.

Peter Jackson Film

Watch this…

The Frighteners

Michael J. Fox plays a con man riding people’s house of ghosts—ones he’s sent there himself. But soon the ghost and the terror are all too real, and Fox’s character is the only one that can stop them. This suspenseful horror movie is a fresh take on ghosts and is visually stunning. Fox gives a great performance, and the plot is gripping. Packed with humor and horror, The Frighteners is one of Jackson’s best.

…Not that

 

Lord of the Rings

Because everyone in this world (other than me) has seen these movies a bazillion times, can quote every line, knows every difference between the books and the movies, and (like me) knows in their heart of hearts that The Hobbit should not be made into three films. Go ahead and check some of Jackson’s other works.