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This Week's Film Reviews (Jan 2, 2015)

30 Dec 2014

THE WOMAN IN BLACK : ANGEL OF DEATH is the only new film opening this week.  Lots of films to see though from last week Christmas opening.  THE INTERVIEW opens in Canada  too.

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See the Kubrick Exhibition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

FILM REVIEWS:

THE WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGEL OF DEATH (UK 2014) **

Directed by Tom Harper

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The film begins with Londoners taking cover in an Underground bomb shelter during a World War II blitz. The lead character, a young and beautiful schoolteacher by the name of Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) and others are immaculately clothed and coiffed with the Underground walls spotless. They later emerge in the bomb torn city streets with not a spot of dust on their clothes. The first segment is indicative that the sequel to WOMAN IN BLACK, though high in production values, is going to go terribly wrong.

This is supposed to be a sequel to the successful London West End play WOMAN IN BLACK that went on to be made into the film starring Daniel Radcliffe. But ANGEL Of DEATH could stand much on its own without the existence of the original.

The story concerns Eve and another woman (Helen McCrory) evacuating a group of schoolchildren to the safety of the English countryside. Taken to an old and empty estate, cut off by a causeway from the mainland, they are left at Eel Marsh House. The causeway and El Marsh House form the only connection between the two films. One by one, the children begin acting strangely and Eve, with the help of local military commander Harry, discovers that the group has awoken a dark force. 

The story is humdrum. Only two points need mention. One is that Eve takes concern over a boy called Edward (a very odd looking Oaklee Pendergast) and the other is her romance with Harry (Jeremy Irvine).

Nothing much happens in the film. Harper’s film is slow paced with much emphasis placed on mood and atmosphere. But it feels infuriating that hardly any plot is unveiled in the first 30 minutes. Nothing exceptional occurs in the acting department either.

There are no twists in the plot and the film is as predictable as it gets - disgraced pilot makes good; ending set for a sequel etc.

Harper opts for a lot of cheap scares like an arm jumping out of a cradle to grab Eve’s throat or scary faces suddenly appearing with the audio turned full blast. It is ok if a director does that once a while, like thing going ‘bump’ in the dark, but Harper does this so often that it turns both annoying and later on predictable.

Besides good looking sets and ghostly period atmosphere, ANGEL OF DEATH offers nothing new to the horror genre.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYk0slXSY6s

BEST CHRISTMAS FILMS:

- Big Eyes

- Inherent Vice

- Into theWoods

- Mr. Turner

- National Gallery

BEST BETS:

Best Sci-fi: Interstellar

Best Suspense Drama: The Imitation game

Action: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Foreign Language: Mommy

Animation: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Comedy or Musical: Int the Woods

Best documentary: National Gallery

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