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…

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…