When Carolyn and Roger Perron relocate to an old house with their four daughters, they’re shocked and totally caught off-guard by the demonic force that dwell within its rusty walls. Rhode Island can be weird like that. Enter Ed and Lorraine Warren, celebrated paranormal investigators, who by the end of it all, think this was some fucked up shit.
The audience at AMC Covina who caught the matinee thought so too. Apparitions attacking head-on and sudden noises were the main ingredients to conjure screams all throughout the theater (followed by some hysterical laughter). Unfortunately, the clever tricks weren’t enough to blanket what this movie truly is: an unoriginal flick.
We’ve seen it before: Paranormal Activity, Amityville Horror, Exorcism, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Devil Within. The mishmash of possession movie stereotypes come together in this nevertheless frightening film. You’ve got the new family moving in, vulnerable young girls, the hiring of a priest or investigators, the injuries brought on by possession, the demon following you wherever the hell you go, and the ever popular, kill the young one! If you were looking for a movie that would defy what Hollywood has already laid out, this isn’t your movie. But if you’re looking for a good thrill, then be prepared to be swimming in your own urine.
The film is rich in thrills. In fact, Director James Wan deliberately sets you up for the next one. At some points, it’s blatant that something is about to make you clench those ass cheeks together. It’s such a playful movie and Wan does a good job at enticing and capturing the audience in a complete choke hold. For some audience members, the introduction was enough for an automatic tap-out.
The round of applause, though, should go to our young actresses – especially Joey King who plays Christine. The daughters (4 Perrons girls and 1 Warren daughter) of the movie play big roles in ushering the storyline along. And who better to really drive desperation deep into the in-zone than having your daughters attacked by the supernatural? 13-year-old Joey King did an incredible job delivering a scene that documents one of the more upfront encounters with the demons.
All in all, great movie. It doesn’t stray too far from a possession genre, but it delivers.