Steven Spielberg’s ode to his friend Stanley Kubrick not only is one of his most underappreciated films, but one of his finest achievements as a filmmaker thus far. It took me a long while to come to this conclusion after having a somewhat indifferent reaction to A.I. Artificial Intelligence upon my first viewing but a subsequent rewatch only left more inside my head, because aspects of its own concept quickly had found themselves sticking with me – together with its stylistic approach of two directors trying to reach at one another. The final result almost plays like a modern fairy tale in some sense, yet one that ultimately asks its viewers about humanity within a perspective that only calls oneself closer.
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Continuing on with the dread that filled up the first film, could James Wan have done himself much better? I would not have thought so but The Conjuring 2 has proven me wrong for he indeed provided a rare instance where the sequel may have improved upon its own predecessor. Like the predecessor, there are many things to be expected of the haunted house subgenre of horror films but where James Wan allows for forgiveness from what appears already as familiarity arises come from his understanding of the effectiveness that shaped the genre. What I can say about James Wan is that within the future, I can only expect greater things for the horror genre under his own hands. You can’t expect another Exorcist for few horror films (or few films in general) ever can match its own legacy, but The Conjuring 2 provides what the first gave off, and a little bit more at that too. Continue reading →