Watching a horror movie alone in a theater.
Watching a horror movie alone in a theater, with nobody else there.
Well, almost check.
I had about 5 more people sitting at the back. So it still felt like I was the only one in that big room watching on the big screen.
Conjuring 2, as most people would know by now follows Ed and Lorraine Warren to the famous or rather infamous Enfield case in London. The Enfield case itself was quite widely covered by tabloids and some daily’s but is also considered mostly a hoax. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that it was not real. This site – History Vs. Hollywood covers it quite well.
James Wan has taken quite a few creative liberties with this case as the Warrens were just two of the many paranormal investigators who visited the Hodgsons and they were there only for a day to investigate. But having said that, I really liked the movie. James Wan has the craft to show the audience a horror without it being a slug or gore or bad makeup fest – he has the ability to build on the characters so well that you actually care for them. That is a hard thing to do in films. If you do not care for the main characters, then the film is almost as good as dead.
The story itself might be called cliched by many, but I think its the emotions like fear, sadness, grief and depression that actually make every cliched horror story different. The Hodgsons were poor, they hardly had enough money to buy even biscuits and Peggy Hodgson, the matriarch, was barely meeting ends for her 4 children. So you immediately feel for the characters and as they say, when you are down is when you get kicked in the guts. The main character – Madison Wolfe as Janet Hodgson, the one who is possessed from time to time, does a brilliant job. Her fear, agony and sadness is palpable. The others in the family too were quite good as supporting characters.
I have to dedicate a paragraph for Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. I have seen their movies as separate lead actors but their chemistry as a couple is really powerful. You actually see the love, affection, blind trust and deep bonds that even the real life Warrens might not have had. They did a stellar job in this part of Conjuring as the first one and the movie was as much about their love than it was about the poltergeist.
Coming to the actual horror in the movie, the poltergeist Valak is an actual documented demon. But its not Marilyn Manson dressed as a nun or even Sharon Needles. See the resemblance?
Valak is actually depicted as taking the form of a disfigured child with wings which might have been scarier I think.
That was one miss from James Wan. He does admit that the design of the main demon was actually done at the 11th hour. But there are a couple of sequences involving the Valak that are done quite well and a large part of the credit goes to Vera Farmiga.
The other small part I didn’t like was the screen time of 2 hours 14 minutes – I think the movie could have been edited down to lesser. It felt a little long and sluggish at times.
But other than that, the movie was great. It was crafted well, jump scares were actual jump scares rather than just loud noises and the story was really well knit together. I would continue to pay money to watch good horror movies on a big screen – its where it looks and sounds the best.