Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Conjuring 2 - The scoop and digest

Only last year, the North London case was dramatised in three part TV mini-series The Enfield Haunting, with Timothy Spall giving a typically commanding performance as paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse.

Ignoring John R. Leonetti's decent prequel/spin-off Annabelle, James Wan returns to direct, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising roles.

Amityville, 1976.

Did demonic possession play a part in Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdering his family in November 1974?

That's what the Warrens are here to investigate.

During a trance, Lorraine relives shotgun blasts and unexpectedly encounters nasty looking female.

London Calling, 1977.

Members of the Hodgson family experience supernatural disturbances any hovel can do without.

Maurice Grosse and media friends interview Peggy's now possessed daughter Janet, who claims 'her' name is former owner Bill Wilkins.

He died 72 years young of a brain hemorrhage sitting in armchair.

News travels fast, and the Warrens reluctantly agree to act as observers.

Parapsychologist and skeptic Anita Gregory presents video evidence proving Janet purposely wrecking dining area.

Why'd she do it?

Otherwise, a voice promised to kill brothers and sisters.

On train home, tapes are played back confirming "Help me! It won't let me go."

In other words, Bill's spirit is being manipulated by true enemy dressed in black and white.

They're nun too pleased.

As events escalate, lightning strikes and jagged tree stump may be of vital significance.

Ed resists everything evil presence throws and finds Janet ready to jump from open window.

Lorraine remembers carving demon's name Valak inside bible during Amityville vision, and announcement condemns bitch back to hell.

Text epilogue informs:

Peggy spent the rest of her days in Green Street home and died in the same chair as Bill Wilkins 40 years earlier.

'The Crooked Man' zoetrope is added to the Warrens' Occult Museum and couple dances to Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love.

Thank you very much.

As credits roll, we hear actual recordings of Janet's 'demonic' voice and actors are compared to real-life counterparts.

Briefly touching on legitimacy...

'Based on the true case files of the Warrens'?

Not really, as they had little involvement.

Janet's levitation is massively exaggerated to what apparently happened.

Back in the late 70s, photographs were highly debatable and now, they're faker than plastic surgery.

Did crosses rotate upside down?

No.  Done only for dramatic effect.

As for 'inverted' crosses representing malevolence, you don't have to be religious to know it's quite the opposite.

When Emperor Nero ordered St. Peter to be crucified, Apostle didn't consider himself worthy enough to die in the same manner as Jesus, so requested death upside down as an act of humility.

Pop bastard culture strikes again.

Paranormal Activity, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Devil Inside and The Omen (2006) et al have all taken advantage.

Oh yeah, thrash metal bands might've had a poke too...

Promotional campaign makes no sense as movie posters and TV adverts sub this The Enfield Case.

Whatever, right?

Playing second fiddle to superior original, multiple tropes throughout first half are orchestrated with flair and effective precision.

However, jump scares run out of steam and become all too predictable.

This is magnified when Ed attempts to fix a leak in submerged basement and Valak's shadow terrorising Lorraine.

I can appreciate a little humour, but script can disrespect situation.

Antagonist is a close relative of Bride in Black and dog morphing into Mister Babadook-esque Crooked Man (Javier Botet) is frankly bizarre.

James Wan proves once again he's highly accomplished, but even his biggest fans will grow tired of 'same shit, different film'.

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