James Wan’s film based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes and David Leslie Johnson is a type of follow-up to the 2013 film THE CONJURING but is able to wholly stand on its own without viewers having had to have seen the first to follow the storyline. The film follows the true life couple Ed and Lorraine Warren as they travel to England to aid the Hodgson family who were experiencing paranormal activity in their Brimsdown, Enfield council house in 1977. Supposedly based on a true story it also starts off with the Warrens as they investigated their most famous case, the house in Amityville, Long Island, New York and what they went through as skeptics doubted the authenticity of what they had found there. Feeling that they need a sabbatical from getting directly involved in these types of cases, the Roman Catholic Church however asks them to investigate a case in England to see whether or not proof of the demonic truly exists there. They decide at first to just get involved peripherally, enough to prove whether or not the Church needs to investigate more fully. I’m sure a certain amount of dramatic license was involved, after all this is a Hollywood movie designed to scare the bejesus out of you and for the most part it succeeds in doing this by using a limited amount of CGI (computer graphics imagery) and more practical effects such as lighting, eerie looking sets and good acting. A fine cast of actors which include Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens, Madison Wolfe and Frances O’Connor among others contribute to the film’s overall effect. I felt the envelope was pushed a few too many times for the sake of shock value and probably would have been a better film if they stuck closer to the facts but found that it produced an overall frightening film going experience with a happy ending for all involved by the time the story concluded.
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