Saw director James Wan takes us back to the 70s in this supernatural horror.
I know a lot of horror films are based on a true story but the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren have been widely reported (their most famous case being the one that inspired The Amityville Horror). The Warren’s are a happily married couple who are also paranormal investigators. We follow them as they receive a new case involving the Perron family who have just moved into a new house where creepy things start happening to them and their five daughters.
Before I get on to my review of the film I have to mention three peices of advise I would give to people if they encounter creepy/supernatural things:
1) If you have a creppy doll (as featured in an unrelated story at the beginning of the film) don’t allow a ghost possess it.
2)If your dog will not come into your house, even when manhandled maybe you should have second thoughts about moving in to your new house.
3) If someone has gone to the effort of boardering up a cellar perhaps you should leave well alone and not go in it!
But what would a horror film be without people doing stupid things?
Playing the supernaturally gifted Warren’s are Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The actors play their parts well and do their best to ground these characters into reality, considering the world they surround themselves in. Whether you believe their gifts or not, their story is fascinating and Farmiga and Wilson make the Warrens seem likeable and relatively normal under the circumstances. Lesser actors would probably have hamed up the parts considerably more.
The Perron family are sympathatic and played by capable actors. The film also comes up with reaosns as to why they can’t simply move out of their house, both for economical and supernatural reasons.
The film is constantly scary, bearly letting up for you to have time to breathe. There are quieter moments, such as seeing the Warren at home discussing their lives, but for the most part every scene is a set up for scares. Most of these consisted of jump scares, but these are well timed and effectively done.
James Wan proves theres more to him than starting the Saw Franchise. He leaves behind the gore for more traditional scares and proves he doesn’t need dismembered body parts to scare an audience. Just simple technqies like ringing bells, hands clapping and loud banging can do the trick just as well.
The Warren family have a room full of cursed objects in their house and if this film is a success I think we could be having another look at the Warren’s case files.
Rating 4/5- What it lacks in orginality it more than makes up for in genuine scares!