Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Lauren Esposito, Frances O’Connor, Franka Potente (Rated MA – 133 min).
Jeepers creepers, you may forget to take a breath watching this incredibly well made first class paranormal sequel and like the original, this is also based on a true incident making for an abundance of truly frightening situations. Covering your eyes won’t help, heart rate monitors may be a good idea, this is scary.
Picking up in the late 1970s with ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), real life entity detectives while investigating the famous Amityville house of horror, when they receive the call to go to England for a new case.
The Enfield haunting remains one of the best known poltergeists around London town and when the duo arrived, things had already seriously progressed for afflicted Hodgson family. Single mum Peggy with her four kids are terrorised beyond redemption. Youngest daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) is the focus of malevolent force known as Old Bill, the nasty spirit bangs on walls or slams doors while demanding the family get out of ‘his’ house.
Beyond eerie, Wolfe delivers a chilling performance, demonic possession reminiscent of Linda Blair in 1973 classic The Exorcist. Lorraine is failing to pick up anything on her usually sharp psychic gift, effectively making her rethink their involvement leading to an unexpected twist which I promise few will see coming.
Maximum tension is created by Australian director James Wan retaining a sense of dread only giving a false sense of security during the few quieter moments (including an Elvis Presley acoustic singalong) before the next creepy blast shocks you witless. It’s all here!
Swings swinging with no body in them, an empty rocking chair, footsteps down a vacant hallway and a levitating child – these familiar horror traits all still work to great effect while added new ideas will have you writhing into your cinema seat. The room full of circumnavigating crucifixes is unforgettable.
Two Australians in the cast impress, Frances O’Connor lays it all out as suffering Peggy, while Lauren Esposito as daughter Margaret is prominent. Leads Farmiga and Wilson are a brilliantly sublime duo holding solid credibility amongst the blood-curdling terror.
Shane A. Bassett