James Wan, after the hugely successful Conjuring, had mentioned in an interview that he will not be directing any more horror movies (except the sequel to Conjuring). A decision that I would request, beg, beseech, plead Wan to reconsider. There are not enough half decent directors in this genre. Not much left to be desired if the one great director in the past decade decides to call it quits.
Do you remember Specs (Leigh Whannell) – the dorky bespectacled ghost hunter from Insidious 2 and 1? One half of the duo called Spectral Sightings – with the other half being the bearded Tucker (Angust Sampson)? Well, after 2 movies in front of the camera, Whannell has taken his first step to get behind it. He actually shuttles between the 2.
The prequel to Lambert Haunting – a few years before it – begins with Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) visiting Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) at her eerie house. Elise is mourning the loss of her husband who decided to end his life not so long ago. She has decided to not get involved in matters with the other side but agrees to Quinn’s request as an exception – only to stop midway and ask Quinn to leave.
Quinn, however, has already managed to get a demon from the dark side to the living world. This demon is in the form of a Man who cannot breathe (Michael Reid MacKay). He decides to haunt the pants off Quinn, first with just voices and then in physical form that leads to a serious accident. The cheap demon that MWCB is, doesn’t spare a teenage girl with two broken legs either.
That’s around the time when Specs and Tucker aka Spectral Sightings make their entry and that’s around the time when the movie goes all downhill. There were gaps in the first half too but not too stark to be picked up by the average ordinary everyday Joe. The horror more than made up for it. Some scenes actually made you jump out of your socks.
Whannell is unable to handle the movie as soon as he comes in front of the camera. Clearly, double hatting is not something he is good at right now. Maybe over time but I would strongly recommend that he stays behind the camera because there is very little that he gets to the table when he is in front of it.
The dialogue in the 2nd half, the narration, the horror – everything disappears and makes way to the likes of “Not tonight bitch” and extremely funny scenes that don’t come remotely close to even the first half. The performances are overall below par. There could not have been a bigger injustice done to Wan’s legacy. A pity that it happened even with his role as a producer. 4 on 10 for some glimpses of fear. Avoidable.
Watch the trailer on http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3521294617/