Conjuring 2 (2016)

James Wan’s haunted house oeuvre is a well-oiled machine. Creaky floorboards and fearsome presences roll off the production line like clockwork; creepy, broken, grandfather clockwork. And, although The Conjuring 2 is bound by formula, when the scares are this good, I’m happy to buckle my seatbelt and enjoy the ride. Wan’s recent good form (Insidious et al) is…

Fast & Furious 7 (2015)

The Fast & Furious franchise’s seventh lap contains few surprises for those familiar with the franchise. Fast & Furious 7 (originally titled just Furious 7) doesn’t deviate from the well-worn path established by its predecessors, delivering the same mix of cars, fights, absurd stunts and bro-y banter that’s sustained the series for the past fourteen…

Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle (2014)

It’s easy to forgive horror films their sins if they’re actually scary. If Annabelle had been a genuinely frightening film, I could’ve happily forgiven its hollow Polanski references – ranging from a host of Rosemary’s Baby quotations to a Charles Manson’s appearance on television. I wouldn’t have had a problem with how it mishandles/abandons its…

Extended Cut: The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring feels very old-fashioned. That’s not surprising, given the 1971 setting and accompanying huge sideburns, but (aside from some obvious J-horror influences) this is a film that could have been produced decades ago, with the personality and pacing of classic horror. Director James Wan has commendable patience, slowly developing an ominous atmosphere before breaking…