In Praise of Patrick Wilson, Scream King


Ed Warren is sitting in a huge meeting in north London, trying to make contact with a demon. Behind him sits a little girl who is said to be possessed. The demon won’t talk, she insists, unless he turns away and gives her some privacy. With his back to the girl, Ed gets down to business. “Now come out and talk to us,” he says brightly.

Like a Cockney Tom Waits, the demon comes out tickling and taunting in a diabolical, squeaking voice. He wants to knock Ed up, but as played by Patrick Wilson, Ed is not an easy rattleman. Along with his wife, Lorraine, he works as a paranormal investigator, and this is hardly his first tete-a-tete with a deadly spirit. “Your father called you Edward,” the demon tried to get under his skin. But Ed just rolls his eyes and shakes his head impatiently. “You’re not a psychiatrist, and I’m not here to talk about my father,” he says. “Let’s do business first. What do you say?”

this scene In “The Conjuring 2” (2016), the quintessential, loudly terrifying sequel to “The Conjuring”, does what these hits do so well. Director James Wan shot the entire conversation in one long, unbroken take, zooming in so slowly that the motion of the camera is virtually undetectable. The demon, in the background, has a sinister blur. Instead, our attention is focused on Ed, looking forward.

Van is very demanding of his lead here—the impact of the scene hinges entirely on Wilson, and without cuts, in extreme close-ups, he has nowhere to hide. But he proves to be more than capable. The five-minute scene is an acting tour de force, and one you might not expect in the middle of a haunted house picture.

The range of emotions on Ed’s face is mesmerizing. Wilson, a classically trained actor with a background in stage plays and Broadway musicals, is capable of so much with his eye cast and subtle changes in his mannerisms that you can momentarily tell how he’s feeling – apprehensive Annoyed, upset, distraught. For a moment, his restraint is lost. Then he steels himself, blinks and regains it. It’s a frightening confrontation, for sure. But it’s mainly compelling for Wilson’s intensity.

Of course, Wilson, who plays Ed again in the new sequel,”The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,“A known talent for more than 20 years. In the early 2000s, she earned Tony Award nominations for her starring roles in the musicals “The Full Monty” and “Oklahoma!” and in 2003 she received “Angels in America” Nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for television, Tony Kushner’s adaptation of the play in which he played a gay Mormon lawyer struggling with his sexuality during the AIDS crisis.

“Angels in America” There’s a more direct acting performance, and Wilson’s performance, full of stern passion and moral compromise, is sensitive and powerful. He shares scenes with Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, but his most striking is the twist.

Like many famous stage actors before him, Wilson soon sought to turn his growing reputation into film stardom. Results have been mixed. Over the next few years, he appeared in several high-profile Hollywood films, but many of them were poorly received, such as the lame remake “The Alamo”, the over-the-top domestic thriller “Lakeview Terrace”, and the biggie. Screen version of “A-Team”. When he starred as the reluctant superhero Knight Owl II in the ambitious adaptation of Zack Snyder’s graphic novel “Watchmen,” Critics Complain that he was wrong.

It was in 2010 that Wilson found an unexpected place: the horror film. That year, heHypocrites,” an early experiment in creator Jason Blum’s low-budget horror revolution and a spooky, atmospheric ghost story with playful touches from David Lynch.

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Wilson plays Josh Lambert, who, for the first two acts, seems like the typical horror film patriarch: stalwart, immobile and, as the haunting begins to grow, fanatical disbelief. He spends a lot of time reassuring his wife that the scary things she sees around the house may be just fiction and that the ghosts are not real. until it is discovered that the ghosts are real, and that Josh actually has a history with them.

At the end of the second act, it is revealed that Josh had encountered a demon in his childhood, but his memories were suppressed. And Wilson, as he accepts this information, subtly reveals the trauma of a lifetime. With a slight twitch of the eyes and a delicate tension of the muscles, he conveys a gleam of bone-deep fear behind his subconscious. Suddenly, a familiar and somewhat flat character acquires a whole new dimension, as Wilson transforms the stock type into something dynamic and real.

Wilson reprises the part in “Insidious: Chapter 2”, Josh’s body is inhabited by a malevolent demon and Josh’s spirit is trapped in the spirit world. As Demon-Josh, Wilson has the difficult task of playing an evil spirit pretending to be human, convincing his loved ones that he is the same old Josh as he secretly plots to kill them. At times, the happy husband’s mask slips off, and Wilson reveals a glimmer of frenzied danger. It’s a terrifying performance reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.”

Ed Warren opposite Josh Lambert. Ed’s role in the movies “The Conjuring” is a steady presence.

He and Lorraine (played by the wonderful Vera Farmiga) are called in to investigate events that defy scientific explanation, and their arrival on the scene, usually after some initial haunting by ghosts and demons, is reassured. That happens with emotion is rare in horror movies. Wilson gives the calming impression of ineffective expertise, Not unlike what Tom Hanks brings to many roles, almost the consistency of a father. No matter how terrified we are, we’re glad Ed knows what he’s doing.

Ed is a man of God, investigating demonic possession on behalf of the Church, and one of the most striking things about Wilson’s performance is the intensity of his religious belief. When he throws a cross on a spirit to take away its power or reads Scripture in Latin to save the day, he does not merely refer to props or quote dialogue, but to explicitly describe these objects and rituals. appears to be visible. He makes you realize Ed’s faith as well as his belief in evil and the supernatural. It makes scary stuff scary and feels more real.

Wilson and Farmiga’s screen chemistry has been widely praised, but it’s hard to say how powerful they are together. Their warmth and tenderness are a significant respite from the pulse-quickening horror surrounding them, and the affection they show each other is charming precisely because it contrasts so sharply with the rest of the action. They’re So Magnetic That Their Small Roles In The Beginning Of The “Conjuring” Spinoff “Annabelle Comes Home” Practically spoils the rest of the movie: After initially enjoying watching them, you end up disappointed to see them leave.

Shortly after Ed’s confrontation with the demon in “The Conjuring 2”, he sees an acoustic guitar in the corner of the same room. The captured little girl’s family hands her over, and she moves on. Imitate Elvis Presley and Sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in its entirety. The scene doesn’t advance the plot. This is not a wrong direction; It doesn’t result in some twist or revelation or fear of jumping. Wilson’s openness and gentle humor are worth more than a dozen heart-stopping scares: in fact, that openness and humor is what terrifies anything in the first place. “The Conjuring 2” is already 136 minutes—a more prudent editor would have advised to cut the outside scene. But this moment, so solemn in its sentiments, is the heart of the film. Like Wilson’s performance, it’s far from perfect.

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