Helen’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film is perfect to me, the finale gets a tiny bit goofy but otherwise it’s just excellent. I absolutely fell in love with it (and also Patrick Wilson) when I watched it in theaters for the first time.
It’s so skillfully crafted with pointed attention paid to the detail in the 70s aesthetic, and some fantastic camera work - notably the tracking shot when they’re moving into the house, turning the camera 180 degrees when coming up from under the bed, the over the shoulder closeup with the music box, a dolly zoom of the house, panoramic tracking shots while setting up cameras in the house, the 180 vertical turn following Lorraine when she goes to get the Bible out of the car and then when she comes back in, honestly the list just goes on.... There’s also some really slick transitions going from steadicam to handheld that are just magnificent.
The sound design might be just as impressive as the camera shots - sharp piano notes, stretching rope effects, eerie whispers, low brass sounds all seamlessly blending in with a few pop hits from the decade.
The scares are all top notch (even if they’re mostly jump scares), and the casting is impeccable. John Brotherton as the skeptic officer and comic relief is one of my favorite parts.
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this, for me it’s James Wan’s best - tied with Insidious and Saw.