When we think of the horror or horror genre, we are transported to the middle of the 18th century, during which Gothic literature was at its peak. During this period, themes ranging from the crumbling of religious mythology to the exploration of local folklore gained the popular imagination and served as the basis for the popularization of tales that escaped everyday realism and opened up the gates of the supernatural – and it’s no surprise that since the emergence of the cinematic aesthetic, these advancements have also caught the attention of filmmakers.
Decades later – and an almost constant movement of renewal and exhaustion of terror – James Wan, fanatic of the type’s works, gave us the first chapter of what would become one of the most famous franchises of the type. today, ‘Invocation of Evil’. Bringing to the big screen a theatricalized version of the life and legacy of Ed and Lorraine Warren, well-known demonologists who built careers based on the study of demons, spirits and possessions, the story presented could well be drawn from the formulas of so many classic films – with the differential of plunging headfirst into a reality still denied by skeptics. The success resulted in three spin-offs (“Annabelle”, “A Nun” and “A Curse da Crying”) and two sequels, with the third chapter reaching audiences in recent days.
We cannot deny that the expectations for “Order of the Devil”, as it has become known, were high, even though we remember the artistic perfection of the previous films. Moving on to one of the most haunting cases of the Warrens’ career, in which a possessed young man committed a brutal murder, a change in the atmosphere was felt that portended an interesting future for the saga. In the end, the only thing that manages to save it from being a complete disaster is the undeniable, enviable chemistry that Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga enjoy as the main couple, carrying an unstable pace and a lost storyline that is not up to the task. the one that the fans deserved.
This time, Wan has decided to leave the chair to someone familiar with the universe: Michael Chaves. The name might sound a little odd, but the director rose to fame even in 2019 with the release of the aforementioned “The Curse of Weeping,” whose attempts to provide the minimum of originality failed to eclipse the multiple lapses of the production. Of course, since this was the first feature film, snatching up a project of such a level was risky – and the same mistakes spilled over to ‘Invocation of Evil’. From painful, uninspired direction to weak emulations of boring elements, it’s hard to reach the end of this “incredible” adventure without wondering what would happen if the pieces fit together more easily.
The work seeks to unite the best of both worlds in one place and, for this reason, leaves fertile ground both for the romantic inflections between Ed and Lorraine and for the leaps and the confrontation of the supernatural. Here, Arne (Ruiari O’Connor) is a young man who lives with the Glatzel family and witnesses the exorcism of little David (Julian Hilliard), saving him by allowing an evil spirit to take his own body as a receptacle. Believing he has put an end to everyone’s omens, he realizes that he made a big mistake and, driven by a psychotic unconscious, commits murder and is brought to justice, enlisting the help of the Warrens to help him get rid of the death penalty.
At first, the intrigues manage to fit together in a global way, putting Ed and Lorraine on a fact-finding mission to understand what happened. When they realize they’re dealing with the powers of a witch, they realize that the affair is nothing like the ones they’ve faced before – and that the danger is closer than you might imagine. However, as the two hours unfold, we notice that the weak script, signed by David Leslie Johnson McGoldrick, doesn’t know which direction to go: profusely trying to expand the Chaos Realm created by the witch. , other extras are sought and supporting actors. which, at first, should increase the narrative density – and which, in a pale indifference to the created panorama, are disposable.
Even the hallmark of the universe doesn’t seem to succumb to an exhale that already demonstrates the fatigue of frankness and obsessive repetition of the elements. The sequence shot is too short to be used and has no apparent purpose; the final possession scene is overshadowed by the one-off clash between the Warrens and the antagonist; and the resolutions surrender to a damn deus ex machina which, again, makes no sense. On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning the skill of purposefully eye-catching photography crafted by Michael Burgess and the poignant soundtrack by Joseph Bishara, even if those aspects aren’t enough to get us through.
‘The Order of the Demon’ is a lopsided entry to ‘The Invocation of Evil’ and, although it is better than some chapters in the saga, he is so in love with what has already been delivered that he forgets to seek an identity of its own. While themes such as family and love have been mixed into a fusion of horror and suspense in previous forays, the recent film means so much that it ends up saying nothing.
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