“The Conjuring 2” (2016) dir: James Wan

the-conjuring

It might strike as a bizarre, yet spontaneous choice to watch and express my thoughts on a horror film being a person that avoids the genre like a demon avoids the cross. However, there come times when a film successfully enhances the fantasies about what lies beyond by narrating a captivating story with a talented cast and by adding the necessary twists of terror with the help of image and sound effects.

The case is inspired by the “Enfield Poltergeist” activities that allegedly haunted the Hodgson family in 1977 and resulted in the demonic possession of their 11 year-old daughter. The Conjuring 2 builds a connection with the previous film that first introduced us to the couple of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine and that link is achieved by solving an important mystery. The first film makes note of the most intense paranormal vision that stigmatised Lorraine, where she felt being the “closest to hell” but does not reveal any details. It is in this film that the opening scene provides us with all the answers and its psychological and practical aftermath intertwines with the case under investigation.

For the first half of the film we become familiar with the paranormal activities and the psychological profiles of the family members in addition to the Lorraine’s personal struggles who is convinced she has received a serious warning that she is more than unwilling to disrespect. After the first hour the family receives the so deserved help (although doubts are never absent as to the sincerity of the possessed individual), however my thoughts at that point was that I have seen enough of the old man and anticipated the nun’s reappearance on my screen, despite the fact that her physic had scared me to death…The twist at the end refreshing compared to the most common plots out there, but nevertheless a true leap of paranormal imagination. Is it perhaps my inexperience with the genre that prevents me from accepting that a vicious demon dressed as a nun trapped the spirit of an old man (that lacks dental health and vision) to do the dirty work for him…

The scene I enjoyed most in the film was undoubtedly Lorraine’s encounter with the spooky demo/nun in the office, where the smart visual game with Ed’s painting kept you tight and tense. Another beautiful scene was that of Ed’s (successful and sweet) attempt to sing and imitate Elvis in the song “Can’t Help falling in love”. This scene, where the family is reunited under the familiar tunes of a happier and carefree past (before the parents’ divorce and subsequent deprivation of Elvis’ records) is the oasis in the desert of constant terrorism that stems from the spiritual world and the uncertainty of their future. Ed’s voice projects his kindness and Lorraine’s expression her pride for her partner’s efforts to entertain this long-suffering family.

I have to admit at this point that I watched the film in plain day light, and that must have played its part in relaxing my nerves, as the light functioned as a constant reminder of my surroundings. Perhaps this is the reason why towards the end, after the revelation of the plot twist and while facing the most tormenting question, as to whether Lorraine’s premonition is to be fulfilled (and thus thoughts about “The Conjuring 3” would be lost forever in another dimension…) I lost my focus on the terrifying elements and laughed. I found the extermination of the demon so painfully simplistic that left me wondering why was such an accomplished demon so easily intimidated by hearing his name out loud. If that is the case then I am sure such a powerful (thus experienced ?) demon would not reveal his name if that, along with a cross-waving are sufficient for its distraction.

Overall the viewing experience was intense and the plot thick, which compensates for a disappointing 10 minute finale. However, I am certain that watching the film in the dark and especially in one’s lonesome leaves the viewer with an even more haunting sensation that I wasn’t brave enough to face…

 

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Author: CinémAmoureuse

I grew up in Athens and have adored cinema since I was a kid. My very first intense cinematic experience was the Titanic at the age of 5. I love the 40-60's b&w Hollywood era and I enjoy expressing my amateur thoughts on all films that come my way.

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