Dir: James Wan
Let’s just start with a couple of basics right here right now. Enfield is in EN which therefore means its not in London, can I get there by tube? Is it in zones 1-4? Do they even have Uber? I think we can all agree that anything outside of zone 4 really doesn’t count as London. And whilst I totally apreesh what James Wan is doing, and in the iconic words of Kanye West imma let him finish, Enfield is literally NOT in London.
So that’s that, and lets really just clear that up before any form of advancement is made.
NB. Sorry if you’re from Enfield and feel like I’m being unjust. It’s literally Middlesex, you can’t argue with geography.
Ok so, the story is set in Enfield MIDDLESEX, in the 70’s and it documents another one of Ed and Lorraine’s infamous cases of demons causing a lot of aggro to yet another family who literally just need a good nights sleep. Like all the other films about Ed and Lorraine, it is based on a ‘true’ story (lets say inspired by true events), so you can google the Hodgson family, and their house on Green street and even look at how much its selling for on Zoopla (I do this a lot with homes that were inhabited by serial killers or ghosts, worth knowing if affects market price). The original recordings, can be found at: Real footage from Enfield Haunting, plus there’s like a ton of shows about the house, so if you fancy weighing up how accurate Wan was, it’s all there on the fantastic world wide web for you to draw your own conclusions.
I personally don’t really care, it might have been true, yada yada yada who knows? Is anything true? Are we even here? I could get into this kind of low level existentialism all day, but that’s not really the scary part. What disturbed me more than anything were the massive fluctuations is English accents courtesy of the ‘actors’ who were chosen to play the Hodgson family. Why did the mum sound like Pat Butcher but her kids sound like the cast of Oliver? The overdone ‘cockney’ accents, combined with Billy and his biscuits were really eye rolling. I half expected a shoe shine boy to pop up and get involved. Give them one English accent for continuity as opposed to five. We know what English people sound like thanks, and don’t actually need an entire family covering all of the London boroughs under one roof.
So the film. Well the Enfield house is basically like most of the houses we grew up in in London; two up, two down, not very glam, with bad wall paper, dire need of paint and Starsky and Hutch on the walls, just a standard regular house. It wasn’t a huge mansion, or even particularly nice, which is proof that ghosts aren’t picky. One minute its Amytiville, and the next its some estate in Shadwell. Be careful out there.
Things escalate pretty damn quickly. One minute Janet is messing about with a makeshift Ouji board made out of shit she found in the art room at school and then BOOM demon from hell, in your home. Classic Janet.
Would’ve been great if Ed and Lorraine didn’t take their sweet time getting to Enfield. It’s literally Christmas and one whole hour into the (really unnecessarily long) film before they even say London. Meanwhile they’re dealing with their own fallout from Amytiville; Lorraine keeps seeing a Marylin Mansonesque nun in her visions, and then casually walking around her house. Doesn’t help when she wakes up one sunny morning and her husband has drawn a GIGANTIC painting of the thing on canvas ‘I just couldn’t sleep Lorraine’ he muses, ‘So i thought i’d draw what was in my dream’ oh yea….just draw the demon that traumatized your wife in Amytiville, and then proceed to HANG IT UP IN YOUR OFFICE.
My favourite bit was Ed doing an Elvis impersonation and playing the guitar. If there was ever a time for the Demon to throw some mad shade, it should’ve been there and then. Whip that guitar out of his claws and club him over the head with it. Fuck you Ed, don’t come into a haunted house with your Christianity and big sideburns and patronize everyone by singing. Time and a place mate.
Despite all of the above, surprisingly enjoyed it.
And i’m sure you will.