HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH

CAST

Helen McCrory (The Queen)
Phoebe Fox (Black Mirror)
Jeremy Irvine (war Horse)
Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter)

40 years after the events of the first film, bombs drop down on London during the Blitz of World War II. Eve Parkins joins her schoolchildren and the school’s headmistress, Jean Hogg, to evacuate them to the countryside town of Crythin Gifford. On the journey there, Eve meets dashing pilot, Harry Burnstow, who is stationed at an airfield near Crythin Gifford. Upon arrival, Eve is confronted by a raving madman, Jacob, and flees.

Though Eve and Jean do not approve of the place, there is no other alternative. That night, Eve has a nightmare of how she was forced to give up her baby when she was younger; when she awakens, she hears the noise of a rocking chair coming from the house cellar. There, she finds a message, scolding her for letting her child go, and sees a woman dressed in black. The next morning, one of the children, Edward, who has been mute since the death of his parents in a bombing, is bullied by two other children and sees the Woman in Black in the nursery. Eve feels that something is wrong when Edward starts constantly carrying around a rotten doll. That night, one of the boys that was bullying him is drawn out of the house by the Woman in Black; Eve finds his body on the beach.

Eve later sees the Woman in the graveyard, where she finds the grave of Nathaniel Drablow. She chases the ghost to the beach and is overcome by visions of Nathaniel’s death. At the house, she and Harry establish the story of the ghost through an old record made by Alice Drablow before her death at the hands of the Woman in Black: it is her sister, Jennet Humpfrye, the mother of the child she adopted, Nathaniel. Jennet is haunting them because of Nathaniel’s premature death, and is punishing Eve in particular for giving up her baby. Eve journeys into the abandoned town to confront Jacob, who is blind and therefore unable to be killed by the ghost, as he cannot see her. However, he has been driven insane by the deaths of all the other children and tries to kill Eve before she escapes.

Back at the house, Jean finds one of the girls trying to strangle herself under the Woman’s spell. During an air raid, the girl suffocates herself using a gas mask. After this death, Harry takes them to his airfield, which is revealed to be fake. Eve realizes the Woman has followed them. Edward flees, where he apparently dies by walking into a fire basket. Eve finds out that Edward is still alive and at Eel Marsh House. Realizing the Woman in Black wants her alone, she drives to the island, where she finds Edward walking out into the marsh to drown himself where Nathaniel died. She crawls after him, but they are dragged down into the mud by the ghost. At the last minute, Harry arrives and saves them, though he is dragged down to his death instead.

Months later, Eve has adopted Edward, and they are living in London. Although they believe they are free from the ghost, once they leave their house, she appears again and smashes a picture of Harry.It does what it says on the tin, and there’s nothing wrong with that – and it’s a damned sight better than many horror sequels that are simply remakes of the first movie. Yes, it could have been better, but it zips along quite briskly and yet still manages to pack a punch when it needs to. Not bad at all.

REVIEW: THE WHITE PRINCESS

Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)

Main Cast

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Rebecca Benson (Macbeth)
Jacob Collins-Levy (Bloom)
Kenneth Cranham (Hellraiser II)
Essie Davis (The Babadook)
Richard Dillane (Argo)
Anthony Flanagan (The Crown)
Patrick Gibson (Tolkien)
Caroline Goodall (The Princess Diaries)
Amy Manson (Atlantis)
Adrian Rawlins (Hrry Potter)
Vincent Regan (Troy)
Suki Waterhouse (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
Joanne Whalley (Daredevil)
Andrew Whipp (Outlander)
Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones)

Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Nicholas Audsley (Victoria)
Philip Arditti (Red 2)
Rossy de Palma (Kika)
Emmanuelle Bouaziz (Agathe Clery)
Nia Roberts (Keeping Faith)
Nicholas Gecks (The Lazarus Child)
Alex Sawyer (House of Anubis)

Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy in The White Princess (2017)I haven’t read the book nor do I actually care a great deal about the Tudors or the english monarchy in its more personal details. I would go so far as to say that I tend to dislike many shows in this genre because I feel like they romanticize the monarchy or use it as a decorative backdrop for some saucy love story. Anyway, that being said, I did enjoy this, although it’s far from perfect with regards to story telling. It is clearly not historically accurate, but I never once thought it would be. There are some jumps in character development that could have been smoothed over, especially with Lizzie – I definitely had to adjust a little when she suddenly turned from loyal York who planned against her husband to a loving mother and therefore devoted wife. It’s not implausible, though. I had more trouble to understand why Margaret Beaufort would be so afraid of her son finding out that she ordered the murder of the two princes in the tower. The way Henry Tudor is portrayed, having beaten to death the previous king to take the crown, it seems like he might support that decision – until the plot need it to become a huge moral dilemma in the last episode.

Essie Davis, Jodie Comer, Suki Waterhouse, and Rebecca Benson in The White Princess (2017)What I did like, however, and why I am rating it so highly, is that it is absolutely not the kind of story we are used to. I read a couple of reviews where people complained that the characters were not sympathetic. This is exactly what I love about it. This show is about a bunch of people will do anything to stay in or obtain power, and the lies they tell each other and themselves to justifiy their actions. Margaret Pole is maybe shown to be the most sympathetic, but even she neglects her own child in the end to try and save her brother. Lizzie especially is a great example that there are no good choices in a world where power is passed on along bloodlines, meaning that the only way to stay in power is to kill anyone who might have a better claim than you.Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)When I started watching, I was very worried that this was going to be a show about two star crossed lovers and their meddling mothers trying to play them against each other, but in the end true love prevails and they come together for the good of the country. I was glad to be wrong. Yes, Lizzie and Henry do find love, but it is hard earned and bought by time, their love for their children and the crimes they comitted together. I can totally see someone like Henry VIII coming from these parents and circumstances.Jodie Comer and Woody Norman in The White Princess (2017)This is not for people who care about historical accuracy or want to see good people overcome obstacles and grow together, or a good vs. evil type story. If you like Game of Thrones, this may be your cup of tea. It’s a pretty ugly story at times about some despicable people, but if you are a bit forgiving of it’s rough around the edges story-telling, it’s actually quite fascinating.