This review contains no spoilers
The Conjuring (2013) got horror fans so scared as well as excited about the future of this never such a-mood-booster-genre. And no director these days but James Wan (Insidous, Furious 7) has the skill to cook up the repeated haunted house premise by taking its elements deeply eerie. Carrying out the nature of demon by exploring every technical details, including every object seemingly safe and sound.
Major opinion finds this Wan’s horror masterpiece is a modern resemblance of old school’s; The Omen, Poltergeist, and the extremist, The Exorcist, without emphasizing too much on the iconic devil time. Breaking the tradition, The Conjuring lets every second haunt, emphasizing that demons in nature truly have no mercy.
Wan’s craftsmanship on detailing the creepiness is so genius that regardless the based-on-true-story gimmick, we were likely to believe that the superstitious story is no deception, and fortunately it is. There were sudden appearances and jump scares but without falling into cliche, bringing the acrobatic camerawork and sophisticated direction the X factors of the phenomenal success.
The premise is actually nothing new but another terror in a haunted house and just like another horror story, The Conjuring also has its hero; a paranormal investigator couple, The Warrens. Characters with such background is pretty normal to fit the story but when it comes to a fact that The Warrens are (also) living subjects, The Conjuring goes beyond the horror story it delivers.
Another Creepy Case Yet the Same Creepy Level
Beyond the true story, The Warrens are living subjects is far more compelling. Just like the fictional ghostbuster team, Lorraine and Ed give up their paranormal gift towards a non-stop demonic banishing service. Not only do they investigate the haunted object, locate the demon, set any possessed free, but also act as light trance medium between the dimensions. Hence, Lorraine whose husband died in 2006, is also a consultant to and cameo in the film. A fun fact sounds scary? Yes, it is.
What emerges so interesting that The Warrens are the only investigators who claim that the home of Perron Family (the house told in the movie) is cursed but successfully survive any tragic death. Moreover, they prove the terror in Amityville and Connecticut rings true, resulting in both becoming loose inspiration of the modern horror adaptation we all watch today.
A thrilling fact but a bold move in the cinematic industry, resulting in Wan be so inspired and enlightened to create a modern horror breakthrough. A huge success which lets Wan hardly leave but let go other important projects (read: Annabelle (2014) and Insidious 3 (2015)).
Wan’s decision to reprise his directorial role in the sequel can’t be more approved. Skipping the two, he must have planned investing time and mind for a higher stake or at least a persistent horror atmosphere for the sequel. Simply called The Conjuring 2, the formula is similar but with more attention on the technical profiles. The classic style of 1970’s British architecture, the scale, the proportion, the light, dark, and shade, to pop up a perfect surprise of sudden appearance.
Storywise, The Conjuring 2 carefully brings up the Amityville horror story as a background to start the real terror which is at 1977’s Hodgson family house in England. As you might have watched and learned, The Conjuring is not only about the humans and demons and their underworld. Under the scary tone, it explores the relationship between humans, especially the elements of parenthood which draw its audience to certain level of sympathy and irony.
Without spoiling much, the premise lingers on another house but with larger family tree and stronger bond. Now is a single mother, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor), whose four daughters are all possessed by different spirits. Such tragedy is never a co-incidence and even located thousand miles from Warren’s Amityville, the pair (Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson) feel obliged to find their way to reach the darkest side of the house.
Not sure if we get double or triple-scared as the eerie tone grows us goosebumps all over the skin. Overwhelmed in an effective way by the score of Joseph Bishare, we simply sat stern on our seat with steady eyes wide open and necessary mouth screaming during never unpredictable scenes. The Conjuring 2 has caught us once more.
Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Lauren Esposito
Duration: 134 mins