It’s a genre that will never die down. To be scared out of our wits is always a sought-after feeling that frankly is becoming too hard to bring into actuality. For one, horror is somewhat becoming synonymous to blood and gore, loud vocals and irregular horror sequences take the front seat and that doesn’t always work. Time and again, we have seen such titles fall flat because horror doesn’t need to be senseless. It can project thoughtfulness and anxiety; it can create a cloud of suspense that needs to be cleared with substance-filled plot and characters.
James Wan is a popular name in the Hollywood fraternity because of his liking to the retro scare period. He does things the old-fashioned way and more often than not, it works because his filmmaking prowess reflects through every frame, unfortunately something others aren’t keen to work on. Conjuring 1 was the first genre film of its kind since The Sixth Sense to fuel intense curiosity. James didn’t just make a film set in the ‘70s, he employed tricks of the era cinematically, recalling movies like “The Omen” and “The Shining," but with a modern eye. Instead of focusing on the traditional, jump-scare edits that have become the norm of how to give a chill, Wan focused on shooting a room, zooming into a face and then slowly zooming out to showcase that a certain element has been changed or something has been added. It works; it’s not over-the-top, make you jump out of your skin scary, but it manages to send shivers down your spine.
They’ll start with a shot of a room, zoom in on a face, and then quick-zoom out to reveal something crucial has changed. They avoid, knowing that it’s much scarier to stay in one shot as the normal world becomes terrifying around and in it. And it worked great for the movie, which is why it came as no surprise that a sequel was announced as soon as the first part released.
England gets Warren treatment
Much like its predecessor, the film follows real-life married paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren, again played with sensitivity by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, who actually did visit the Hodgson home in 1978 in England in call to some paranormal activity reported. The clan in need consists of a helpless single mother whose acting is truly heartbreaking. The four actors playing her children are equally compelling, with Madison Wolfe, playing 11-year-old Janet, the clear standout who has a heavy shoulder to bear, being the one who is possessed, and remarkably she carries it with such ease, scaring us dauntingly for one minute and making us feel sorry for her in the second instance. The frightened expressions and clueless murmuring that defines the family’s torment is believable.
While much of the same setting has been visualized in this sequel, the freshness of the actors, a new setting (being called as the British Amityville as well), gives it a rejuvenated look. Even some of the scenes are welcoming, like the one revolving around the evil nun are taut, quiet, efficient and best of all, scary. One of the main issues is that the movie runs amazingly long, and could have lost at least 15 minutes to make for a tighter, scarier ride. . We love scary movies and more than that, we love scary movies that are able to follow and adapt the retro style of giving the chills. While the original was unbeatable, the successor does a fine job in keeping us at the edge of our seats. Go with your peeps to catch this one at the cinemas.
Verdict : 7/10