Despite mixed opinions Hammer’s THE WOMAN IN BLACK did serious business in February. It was a fairly effective and creepy little film that felt very self-contained and it’s hard to imagine where it could go as a story. Alas someone saw the box office and thought “franchise” and tentatively entitled the next film ANGELS OF DEATH. Now further along in development, the plot synopsis has been revealed.
During World War 2 the deserted Eel Marsh House is seized and used as a facility for caring for mentally disturbed soldiers. A beautiful young nurse named Eve is sent to the mansion to care for the soldiers and soon learns that she must save the soldiers from something even more terrifying than their own demons. One by one the soldiers fall victim to The Woman in Black.
Traditionally British horror films don’t have a great track record when it comes to sequels. THE DESCENT 2 is really all the evidence you need of this. Plus neither screenwriter Jane Goldman nor director James Watkins are involved and the film will be based on a screenplay by Jon Croker from original ideas conceived by THE WOMAN IN BLACK novel writer Susan Hill, so there is at least a tiny ray of hope the story will be a fitting follow up.
At the moment nothing inspires confidence in this follow up. It feels very much like a quick cash grab. As more details emerge and the project gains momentum, I could be proved wrong.