The Woman in Black 2 has finally received a director. Under the title, Angel of Death, The Scouting Book for Boys helmer Tom Harper will take the reins for a franchise brought first to life by James Watkins and actor Daniel Radcliffe. We have been hearing about this project ever since the horror thriller surprised everyone with $128 million worldwide back in February, so an announcement of this sort has been expected for some time.
Audiences should anticipate more of the same at least from a production standpoint as the team behind the original is left intact. Story editor Jon Croker drafted the script this time around. The basis is said to be an idea from series’ author Susan Hill. Fans are warned not to get too cozy though with continuity as the sequel is set four decades after the last time out. The Eel Marsh House has been converted to a government-owned mental hospital during World War II.
Seeing how the reception was mixed among theater goers for round one, there remains the question as to whether or not a sequel might have legs minus Mr. Daniel Radcliffe as its lead. I would counter the argument by suggesting this is a horror film, and no notably talent has ever been necessary to anchor such offerings in the past therefore success is nearly certain. To illustrate this, just note that The Woman in Black debuted to $20 million at the domestic box office in February–roughly the same amount as the last two horror films to release into theaters (The House at the End of the Street and Possession.)
In regards to consumer sentiment, the Paranormal Activity series has received a very similar mediocre reaction among ticket buyers; however, the franchise continues to show a high level of success at the box office. Chalk this up to more genre indifference.