"The Furniture" our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber
There are many ways to scare an audience. Music, special effects and editing are combined to surprise the audience with loud, unexpected images of malevolent demons or slashers or whatever. But what about production design? Can you be terrified by a stationary armchair?
The Conjuring 2 holds all the answers. James Wan is an excellent horror craftsman, a director who uses every trick in the book, including the sets and props. Production designer Julie Berghoff and art directors A. Todd Holland and Andrew Rothschild run amok, with the same ferocity as the film's music and editing.
Their first order of business is to exploit some of the genre’s stand-by images. There are a lot of crosses, in this case an entire roomful.
They stand at attention, ready to demonically invert themselves at a moment’s notice. There are smaller crucifixes sprinkled throughout the film, as well as the occasional window lit to resemble a cross...