Time to have a look at the Conjuring 2

Unlike the first Conjuring movie, I waited for this one to come to video before giving it a look. After seeing both The Conjuring and Annabelle, I didn’t feel this would be worth the cost of admission.

We catch up with Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate the supposedly true events surrounding the Enfield haunting. We start off with references to the Amityville haunting, but quickly leave that storyline behind which was disappointing to be sure. But then again, maybe it wasn’t as we start to get fed the line that Lorraine has some divine powers.

We then have the Warrens being asked to visit the Hodgson’s in England to see if their claims of the paranormal are real. The children are being tormented by some sort of spirit. Toys are able to start and move on their own. Beds shake and growls come out of the darkness. Things escalate to the point of possible possession as Janet is able to speak in a voice not her own and tell of events she shouldn’t know. And mildly overshadowing all the events is the vision and dread Lorraine fears that her husband is about to meet with his death. She has several visions showing his demise which puts her in a place where she can’t act upon the haunting.

Overall, this Conjuring has a dark and foreboding feel, which is good. I think the best part involves the mysterious figure of the nun. This is loosely linked to the events at Amityville and may be a demonic figure. There are several scenes with this shadowy creature skulking around and an especially good one where the shadow links up with the nightmarish figure Ed has painted and pursues Lorraine.

The movie builds slowly, with a series of unexplained events that ultimately catch the attention of the Warrens. At first, they are brought in as observes, with other investigators and reporters bringing attention to the haunting. As we move forward, the question keeps getting asked, is this a hoax or is there something demonic going on? We get a lot of questionable evidence that leans more toward a hoax. But then it shifts and we move back toward a real haunting and possession once Ed and Lorraine give the case more of their attention. I found that to be an interesting stance.

The other aspect to the movie is the real case that inspired it. There was indeed an investigation in London involving this family. And the children claim all sorts of events took place and they sought help to control them. Interestingly, when you being to research the "haunting" it begins to closely mirror the events of Amityville, up to and including being declared a hoax by a large contingent.

You will also find that Ed and Lorraine weren’t that involved in the events and may have in fact been asked to keep their distance based on their reputation from Amityville. By many accounts, Ed and Lorraine injected themselves into the investigation with some declarations that Enfield could make money just like Amityville did.

When looking further into the actual story, it’s easy to believe it was a hoax. The photo evidence of children being thrown around looks like kids jumping on the bed, things only appeared when people’s backs were turned and the girls were found to be faking some of the time. They claim this was merely to test those investigating them, but it doesn’t comes across like that and feels pretty dubious.

The Conjuring 2 was rather fun to watch, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga doing a fine job of playing the Warrens. There were plenty of good scenes as the story unfolds. And you don’t have to worry about foul language or nudity like many other movies of this style.

However, as you follow along, it’s hard to tell if the movie is trying to show the Enfield haunting was real or if they agree it was a hoax. There is an interesting line early on in the movie where Ed is on a talk show where it’s claimed the evidence was faked. He says those claims were never "proven". Interesting choice of words.

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The Others – Revisited

image While browsing movie selections on Amazon, I was recommended The Others on Blu-Ray. I thought The Others was a great movie and for a mere $6 I could get the Blu-Ray edition. Two days later it was at the front door and I sat down to watch it again.

We start off with Grace and her two children alone in their house cut off from their neighbors and the rest of the village. The war has ravaged them and to make matters worse, the regular servants have packed up and left during the night without saying a word.

But all is not lost, three new servants who happened to have worked at the house before come strolling by looking for work. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Grace brings them on board to help with the house. But they must understand that the curtains must be drawn at all times. Her children are allergic to the light and if exposed they will blister, suffocate and possibly die. That alone means the house is lit with meager lamps and we spend most of the time is in an eerie darkness. Not to mention there is a thick fog that hangs about the house and if you stray too far, you lose your bearings and won’t be able to find your way back.

It’s not just the darkness though. There is something odd about the servants. They seem to be hiding something or perhaps are in the midst of hatching some sort of plan. Further, it seems that things are moving around in the house and they hear voices and footsteps. Soon, the daughter Anne says she sees and hears a little boy Victor, who says the house is theirs. Soon Grace realizes that noises she attributed to the servants can’t be from them because they’re not even in the house when she hears them. They now have intruders.

To confuse matters even more, Charles, Grace’s husband mysteriously shows back up to the house after being presumed dead in the war. But something is wrong. He’s distant, lost, aloof. His affections seem to be running away from his high strung and nervous wife.

From there we start to learn about many truths that took place in the house and very little is what it appears to be and not everyone is who they claim to be.

The first time I watched The Others, I thought it was great. It was an atmospheric and creepy movie that used mood and lighting to create tension. There are no scenes with chainsaws, or people being hacked to bits, or blood, or nudity and only a hint of violence. It’s sort of a like an Agatha Christie movie where everyone has a motive yet you’re not sure of their intentions. We get a lot of characters who may be up to no good and sense the house is haunted.

Watching it this second time, I found it to be just as suspenseful, but there was a great sense of satisfaction in pickup up on all the clues that are literally peppered throughout the movie. The clues are subtle and out of context they just seem like half completed thoughts. Or, they could be referring to multiple things – the war, the neighbors, the house.

For those who are used to hack and slash films, this is clearly not for you. For those that want a movie to build and for there to be a point to the story, this should keep you both intrigued and entertained.

With the lights turned down low, this movie still creates a suspenseful atmosphere and offers a story that slowly draws you in and sets several wheels in motion to make you wonder who’s telling the truth. And then in the end you’ll see how everything fits together perfectly and everything you were offered makes complete sense.

This is a top notch movie and for $6 you simply can’t go wrong.

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I Am Zozo – A Review

image With all this fervor about the Ouija and this supposed Zozo entity, I decided to check out the movie, I Am Zozo, which features Darren Evans, they guy we see playing the Ouija board in the Ghost Adventures episode. This is supposed to be a cautionary tale of what happens when you play around with forces you don’t comprehend.

The story involves friends who spend Halloween on a private island and discover there is no electricity. They spend the evening speaking to the Ouija and make contact with some benign spirits. Then things turn dark and evil as Zozo appears to cause them harm.

As a horror movie it’s pretty bad and as some sort of cautionary tale, it’s even worse. The movie portion is bad from the tragic, wooden acting. It’s starts off with an interesting idea, but goes nowhere. Plus, it looks like it was shot on film from the 70s. The colors are washed out, the film is grainy and everything looks like crap. Conjuring an evil force on Halloween sounds scary, but this makes it seem ridiculous and laughable. The movie went nowhere and took a like time to make the journey.

By the time we reach the climax of the story that Tess had lost her mind over the death of her friends, there’s no reason to give a damn.

And then we have Darren Evans who comes in with his words of warning over how bad the Ouija is, how deceptive Zozo is and that even touching the board can bring in evil. This overly dramatic message is simply lost considering how lame this movie is.

This wasn’t even a ripoff of the lame, but amusing Witchboard, of years gone by. This movie makes the whole idea of Zozo an even bigger joke than it seems already.

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Ouija – The Movie – Keep Telling Yourself It’s Just a Game

image There have been many movies featuring the Ouija as a portal to darkness and demons, but this new movie Ouija was actually put together but the people who make the board and own the copyright. Yes indeed, Hasbro actually commissioned a movie and put their stamp of approval on it. This has been in the works for a couple of years and will come out tonight in full release.

Now, it may seem odd, but the movie is indeed about a group of friends who gather around the Ouija and unleash some sort of dark force. They seem to fully embrace that idea so it will be interesting to see what their take on events will be. The rating is PG-13 so we can’t expect too much in the way of gore and the budget seems to be a little light, but it’s certainly possible to make a suspenseful and without painting the screen red and if you’re willing to put in a little effort.

Anyway, this looks interesting and I’m curious as to how this is going to turn out. I’m also curious in the backlash that will for sure follow this movie since people are of the opinion that merely having a Ouija around will cause demons to latch onto you. There are already comments cautioning people not to emulate what they see in the movie and what precautions did the actors take to protect themselves.

Let’s not forget, the Ouija has been around for over 150 years. This isn’t a new thing and the Spiritualist movement of the late 1800’s used the Ouija extensively. Associating it with demons or the devil is by and large the product of the Exorcist and isn’t really grounded in reality.

I have a free Friday evening so I might just give this a go. Anyone else interested in this one?

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