All this film really does is prove to the world that James Wan is officially a ‘Master of Horror’. Whether it is ‘Saw’, ‘Dead Silence’, ‘Insidious’, or ‘The Conjuring’ the young Australian director has proved time and time again that he understands the concept of horror better than most horror directors working today. Here he has conjured up an incredible film and really builds on what he built up with the first Conjuring film. The scares are bigger, you are more engaged in the characters and the plot, the cinematography is haunting, and the whole time this film has you on the edge of your seat. Backed up by great performances this film is sure to give you nightmares for days to come.
The film brings back Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga back as Ed and Lorraine Warren, and this time they are sent to London to help a family in need of desperate assistance, in what is their most terrifying case yet. The performances by Wilson and Farmiga are amazing, they really embody the Warrens and become those characters inside and out. The way they were able to sell emotions of fear through their facial expressions added to the haunting atmosphere of every scene. One of the issues with these horror films is that you can usually tell when the actors are acting and reacting to nothing, whereas here i felt like i was watching some raw footage a few times during the film. And then you have the family in which the film is relying on to put in some killer performances, and for the most part they were quite strong. But it was the Warrens who really stood out in this film exceptionally.
You cannot go about talking about this film without going into how it manages to avoid horror cliches, throw away the expected jump-scares, and create an atmosphere that makes every minute just utterly terrifying. Wan has done it here using a creepy score and a visual style that has you curling into a ball when you sense something terrible about to happen. The way he creates suspense and tension is great and all that but the real commendation is how he manages to hold that tension for some really lengthy periods of time. You’ll be surprised how long you can hold your breath as there are a lot, and i mean a lot of scares and tense moments present in the movie, so many that you will be exhausted as if you just ran a marathon. And still with all that, Wan manages to sneak in some scenes of levity here and there that give you a little bit of a break, right before he throws you back into the pits of hell with whatever demon lurks within. The way it is balanced is great and the way it handles the minor plots in combination with the larger events creates a very even flow that was never too fast or too slow.
Amongst all the fantastic horror that exists within this house, there is one ‘device’ that contributes to the horror once or twice and i will say right now, it’s fucking terrifying stuff…. But…. i just felt that it didn’t really fit with the rest of the movie because it was a little hit of CGI. It wasn’t much, but when compared to the rest of the film that utilises a majority of practical effects, it stands out like a sore thumb. I don’t need to go into anymore detail, you’ll know it when you see it. Other than that this is a fantastic horror movie, it doesn’t get sucked into going the predicted route and takes as many left turns as it can to provide one of the more original and terrifying relatively larger-budget horror films of the modern era. If you enjoyed ‘The Conjuring’ or you are a fan of the horror genre you’ll really get a kick out of this film, its intense and a real thrill ride of scares. Now it’s time to go research the real case…….