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Interview with the director, producer and co-author of the script "2 Spells" by James Van

Australian director of Chinese origin James van well known to fans of horror since he put his debut picture "Saw". We publish an interview with James Wang, dedicated to his new horror "Spell 2", The continuation of the 2013 hit"paternoster».

In the first "Enchantment" action developed in the US state of Rhode Island. In the second film, the events are transferred to Enfield, an area in the north of London. You did not want the paintings to look like each other?

Oh sure. That's why I agreed to shoot the sequel, that I knew that it would not be a copy of the first film. London 1970-x is very different from the Rhode Island of that time, and from modern London. Even if I tried to repeat the first picture in a new place, it would be impossible. The place of action strongly influences the style of the production.

We heard that the priest consecrated the set of "2 Spells" before the filming of the scenery. Whose idea was that?

I do not know who invited him, but it was a great idea. The shooting took place without a hitch. As far as I know, there were no unpleasant supernatural incidents.

Something, however, did happen. Have Patrick Wilson, our lead actor, there is a video that was shot by one of the band members at night, after the shooting was completed. At us on a platform the big piece of a cloth was pulled, and on video it is visible, as it flutters. Although no one touches him, and around there are no drafts and no wind. All the doors are closed, air conditioners and fans are off, no one walks on the site. And the cloth flutters. Miracles, and only!

Patrick Wilson, James Van and Vera Farmiga

Patrick Wilson, James Van and Vera Farmiga

Patrick and Vera played very well. What did you see in them when, during the filming of the first film, they were invited to the roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren?

I have always admired Vera Farmiga and wanted to work with her. It seems that I first saw her in the movie "Run without looking back»S Paul Walker. I really liked her, and I began to follow her career. And I liked her in all her subsequent roles. I like both her appearance and her talent. When I was looking for an actress for the role of Lorraine Warren - a woman who is in contact with the other world - I decided that Vera Farmiga would be perfect for this image. It already has something from another world. So I was very glad that she caught on with this role, when we contacted her and told about our project.

I was even more excited when I found out that she was familiar with Patrick. Vera made her debut as a director with the film "Heaven and earth", Where the wife of Patrick played Dagmar Dominchik. So then she met Patrick. Well, I myself had already removed Patrick in "Astral". I love him. He's a great actor. And he likes women - I do not know why. (Laughs.) In my opinion, he could play the leading roles in blockbusters, and he's wasting his time in films like ours. (Laughs.)

Patrick Wilson and James Van

Patrick Wilson and James Van

As a result, we hired them both, and they got on very well. I think it's because they are the same age and they have much in common. In particular, they both adore their families. Patrick is a loving father and husband, and Vera is a loving mother and wife. It was these actors that I wanted to see in the role of Warren, who worked and lived together for so many years.

You create these films, working closely with the real Lorraine Warren. Does she tell you something that you try to include in your pictures?

Yes. But not so much about specific paranormal investigations, but about her relationship with Ed. I adore listening to her stories about their romantic life. I always say that, even if you do not believe that these people have encountered inexplicable phenomena, you can not help but admit that they are very interesting characters from a cinematic point of view.

In the second film for me it was very important to bring the love of Ed and Lorraine to the fore. Therefore, in the interval between the filming of the first and second paintings, I mostly asked Lorraine about her and about Ed. She has grown a little older since the filming of the first film, and her memory has become worse, but she still can remember a lot about her family life. About how Ed did something and did not do something. All this was very interesting to me.

Both of your paintings tell not only about the Warren, but also about mothers whose families are the victims of evil spirits. How did you select the actresses for these roles?

This is primarily the merit of my casting director Anne McCarthy. She especially chooses children for children's roles. But she also very much helped me with the invitation Lily Taylor, which played in the first film. I have long liked the work of Lily, and we are very fortunate that we were able to agree with her. She played so powerfully that after the shooting I thought, "It will not be easy for us to find someone like her for the sequel."

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

Fortunately, during the casting of the second film the name Francis O'Connor. And I immediately said: "Let's invite Francis." We are countrymen with her, she also grew up in Australia, and I know her work from the student's bench. I wanted to work with her for a long time, and it was a great opportunity that could not be missed. Fortunately, she really wanted to play with us. She really liked the first film.

Playing Peggy, it was necessary to portray a strong woman in a difficult life situation. She has big problems before the appearance of evil spirits. She lives with her family in a poor house, she does not have the money to provide children with everything they need. Frances, like a real dramatic actress, tried to convey all this in her game. Therefore, she carefully studied the circumstances of the life of Peggy Hodgson and London of that time. But, of course, she did not want to just recreate a real person. Francis wanted to bring something unique to her image. Therefore, it was a very subtle actor's work - on the verge between real Peggy and the manners of Francis.

What can you say about the Hodgson house? He looks very frightening ...

Yes, and you want to walk there with bleach! (Laughs.) When we wrote the script, we communicated with people who had something to do with this story. One of them was photographer Graham Morris. He shot everything that happened in this house, and he was a skeptic of skeptics. He did not believe in God, or in spirits. Later he became a famous cricket photographer. He is highly respected in the British journalistic and photographic environment.

Graham Morris told us that the house looked as if it was about to fall apart. The wallpaper was peeling off the walls. It was a very poor family, they did not have money even for simple repairs. Morris once said: "I could not believe that there are people who live in such conditions." And he said: "I do not believe in anything supernatural, but I can not explain much of what I saw there."

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

He says that he saw how things move on their own. One day a block of LEGO flew out of the living room and scratched his face. When Morris peeped into the room, there was no one there. And the rooms there were so small that even the child had nowhere to hide. According to Morris, the strangest events started when Janet was nearby. I think Morris can be trusted.

When we created the scenery of this house, I tried to reproduce as accurately as possible what witnesses described to us. For me, it was important that this is a completely different house than it was in the first film. There the action developed on a farm, far from civilization. It was a huge farmhouse, and there was enough room for people and for all sorts of horrors.

In the sequel, everything is exactly the opposite. There, the house stands in the midst of a busy district on the outskirts of London, and crowds of people walk around it. To be honest, this is a very boring building, and that's what attracted me to it. This is not an ordinary haunted house. Not an estate in the marshes and not a Gothic castle. This is a banal public housing for the poor. And it was very interesting to try to make it really creepy.

The film is based on real events, but this is not a documentary film. How much fiction is in it?

Yes, of course, this is not a documentary! (Laughs.) This is not an objective attempt to understand what happened. This is a subjective movie based on the memories of real people. I tried to convey what they told about the incident, and not catch them on some inconsistencies and bring it to the surface. I also worked on the first film. On the other hand, it was important for me to make a movie that frightens me - that is, at least partly based on my own fears. As a result, my fantasy turned out, but based on genuine memories and real people. Our film is like a tree. Its roots and trunk are what we know about what happened. And branches and leaves are our artistic fiction. I never allowed myself to go too far from the trunk, so as not to lose touch with the essence of what really happened.

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

Shot from the movie "2 Spell"

You have succeeded not only in creating horror films, but you obviously love this genre very much, and you have a special connection with it. Tell us, what made you a director of horror films?

Before I started shooting horror films, I adored them as a spectator. I first saw "Poltergeist"And"Jaws", When he was still young, and they very much frightened me. Thanks to "Poltergeist" I'm still afraid of strange dolls, and therefore they periodically appear in my films. It's all because of Steven Spielberg и Touba Hooper. "Jaws" instilled in me a fear of the water element - a strange world, where we can be threatened from everywhere. Thanks to these two pictures, I understood how to build up a tense narrative.

Also, I once read an article Sam Reimi that horror is great for a beginner cinematographer, since it does not require large expenditures. You can shoot a very scary movie with a very small budget. So I got carried away with creating horrors, partly because of the love of the genre, and partly because of pragmatic considerations.

The main thing for me was that horror is the most directorial genre. The way you want to scare the audience determines everything - the actors' play, sound editing, camera work, lighting installation. So shooting horror was for me the best way to show everything I can do. And since my first horror was very successful, then in Hollywood decided that this is my crown genre. And now it's not so easy for me to find another job.

Shot from the movie "Spell"

Shot from the movie "Spell"

After so many horror films, are you afraid of anything?

In a movie or in real life?

And there, and there, if you can.

I was lucky. When I watch other people's films, I can muffle the director and just enjoy the movie. Therefore, other people's horror as a spectator is still frightening me. But in general I'm more afraid of what is happening in the real world. (Laughs.) We have elections soon - that's what really scares!

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