The Conjuring

The Conjuring meets Downton Abbey in new trailer and poster for ‘The Baylock Residence’

The Conjuring meets Downton Abbey in new trailer and poster for ‘The Baylock Residence’

If DOWNTON ABBEY was a horror, it’d most likely resemble THE BAYLOCK RESIDENCE!

Writer/director classy creepfest The Baylock Residence premieres on DVD and Digital this fall from Wild Eye Releasing.

The Conjuring meets Downton Abbey in a goosebump-inducing haunted house flick available September 17.

After the death of her sister, Patricia inherits her family’s estate and soon discovers that something or someone has been haunting the home for decades and harbors a disturbing family secret that she must uncover.

Kelly Goudie, Sarah Wynne Kordas and Lindsay Foster help make up the cast.

Posted by Philip Rogers in Categories, COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Movie Review: UPGRADE (2018)

Movie Review: UPGRADE (2018)

Even if you’re not familiar with the name (and as a horror fan, you should be), there’s a reason why LEIGH WHANNELL is on everyone’s radar at the moment. As a director/producer/writer/actor, together with frequent producing partner JAMES WAN (who I know you’ve heard of), Whannell’s had a hand in the creation of some of the most successful horror efforts from the last two decades, including the franchises for SAW, INSIDIOUS, THE CONJURING and ANNABELLE, be it in front of or behind the camera. (And in some cases, it’s been both.) So it should come as no surprise whatsoever, that this talented man’s ever-creative brain spat out the concept for the remarkable sci-fi/action/horror thriller, UPGRADE.

Grey Trace (potential Tom Hardy stand-in LOGAN MARSHALL-GREEN from PROMETHEUS, SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING and DEVIL) isn’t just your everyday, garden-variety Luddite in the not-all-that-distant future. He’s not seeking to ‘destroy the system’ that controls this world, but he sure as hell isn’t going to be a part of it. He listens to gut-bucket blues while he works on restoring ‘analog’-based cars, for very rich people who collect them. But he doesn’t love his cars or his music half as much as his beautiful wife, Asha, (MELANIE VALLEJO), and no, he doesn’t mind at all that she’s the “pants-wearing breadwinner” of the family.  Alas, the ‘happy-life’ set up must end, as they all must for a movie like this to work, and thanks to a malfunction in the cab that’s supposed to be bringing them home, the lovebirds instead end up in a really bad part of Grey’s old ‘hood, where a band of thugs decides to kill Asha, and leave Grey permanently paralyzed instead of dead.

Wouldn’t you know it, though: there’s an app for that. One of the rich people he sold a refurbished car to is a Steve Jobs/Elon Musk-type technological wunderkind named Eron Keen (HARRISON GILBERTSON). Yes, his appearance is foreshadowing that’s about as subtle as a Keith Moon drum solo, and yes, he does turn up again after Grey’s ordeal, to give him a way to walk again, but more than that, a means by which avenging his crippling and his wife’s murder will be a breeze.

That way is a computer chip called ‘STEM,’ but calling it a “computer chip” is like calling Mount Kilimanjaro a molehill. STEM not only helps operate Grey’s damaged central nervous system and thereby his arms, legs and the rest of his body, but it can help him do some pretty incredible things…like, kick the living shit out of bad guys. And then we and Grey soon realize…he’s not the only ‘modified human’ running around out there. And when he’s not looking for them, they are most certainly out to get him!
However, as wondrous technological developments always do in movies like this, STEM is not without its own set of problematic glitches and side effects, and to say anything more than that would reveal some devastating Act Three spoilers, including the most important twist of all in the story, which isn’t ‘early M. Night Shyamalan’-badass, but pretty close.

I don’t know how much training Marshall-Green had in physical conditioning and movement before shooting, but however long and/or grueling it was, the end results were more than worth it.  His performance is incredible, especially the way he defines Grey’s bodily control under STEM’S influence as totally and spell bindingly different than it is under his own steam.  And all without the aid of CG or other special visual effects, save for some dazzling angles that Whannell employs, thanks to the amazing camera work of DP STEFAN DUSCIO, and also in no small part to the stunt team, led by coordinator CHRIS ANDERSON, with stunning fight choreography by CHRIS WEIR.

BENEDICT HARDIE (HACKSAW RIDGE, NEKROTRONIC) makes a great anti-heroic counterpart for Grey as Fisk, the ‘bad guy’ seemingly responsible for everything that happens, though you discover in pretty short order, that his motivations are far beyond those of the kind of average thug-villain who’d usually be playing this role.  I also love the obvious nod to the late Douglas Rain’s voice performance as “HAL 2000” in Kubrick’s “2001”. If there’s any justice in this world, the smooth, even and undeniably creepy tones of SIMON MAIDEN’S “STEM” voice will become just as iconic.

There’s no way to herald anyone on this picture without including the eye-popping work by the makeup FX team here.  The impressive key sequences would have come across so much better if they hadn’t already been ‘spoiled’ in the “Red Band” version of the trailer.  Even having said that, they’re still amazing as hell when you see them in context.

There aren’t a whole lot of complaints I have about this one, but there is one aspect that bears mentioning: I know the previews sell this as a testosterone-fueled, dystopian thrill ride for the ‘dudes’, and yeah, I’ll admit that was part of the allure for me. But that also means the female characters get short shrift…again. The death of Grey’s wife, Asha, pretty much propels the entire plot into motion, although Vallejo gets to do little more than look pretty…even when her character is dying.

I can understand the casting of BETTY GABRIEL as Det. Cortez, the cop who begins to realize there’s more to her ‘crippled’ suspect than meets the eye.  Between her spellbinding performance in Jordan Peele’s GET OUT, plus her growing resume of appearances in other genre movies like UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB and THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, she’s quickly becoming the next “IT-Girl” for horror and sci-fi fans. But I really wished they’d given her more to do because hers is the kind of character you want to know more about. The antagonistic-yet-empathetic relationship between her and Grey could have been developed much more extensively than it was.

The one place where the minimal development of female characters works comes about, when at a crucial moment in the story, Grey hooks up with a mysterious uber-hacker named “Jamie” (KAI BRADLEY). In their scene together, which probably is all of about three minutes in length, we are completely captivated by her, not just because of the interesting aura she projects, thanks to Bradley’s performance, but because of several things she says to Grey and about him, throwing hints out there about what’s going on – there’s more to this story than we think there is, Jamie warns us. And that has me looking forward to a sequel, which I hope Whannell intended. Which I also hope includes Jamie’s return.

I’m glad that my concerns about Whannell were completely groundless. Though I’ve enjoyed his work as both an actor and a filmmaker, I was wondering if he considered his niche to be splitting time between the writer’s room, producer’s desk, and acting. UPGRADE is only his second film where he took over the director’s chair (his first time was in 2015 with INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3), but if UPGRADE is any indication of where he’s going with his creative knack, I’m looking forward to the UPGRADE sequel…or wherever he decides to go next. Count me in! And please accept four out of five bone-crushing stars of gratitude!

Posted by Samuel Glass in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, THRILLER, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Nun (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Nun (2018)

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to get out and visit my local AMC theater and treated myself to see the latest installment in The Conjuring Universe, The Nun. Directed by Corin Hardy, The Nun is a spin-off of The Conjuring 2 (2016). I will start off by saying that I have pretty high expectations of horror films now these days, and this installment to the Conjuring Universe was definitely not a letdown. It did start off quite slow but kept the suspense with wondering the whole time when you will see “the shadowy figure” aka The Nun with our leading lady (Bonnie Aarons).

The Nun takes place in Romania, in the year 1952. Two nuns who live at the monastery are attacked by a presence that is unseen in the beginning. The surviving nun, known as Sister Victoria, flees the attacker by jumping out of a window. Her body is discovered the following morning by a man called Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who lives in the village nearby.

The news of Sister Victoria committing the ultimate sin — suicide — makes its way to the Vatican and piques the interest of Father Burke (Demiàn Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga, American Horror Story seasons 1, 3, 6 & 8). The two then go to the monastery with the help of Frenchie to understand and investigate the history that is plaguing the village. Once they get settled in, dark things begin to happen, and they start to piece together Sister Irene’s visions along with Father Burke’s experience in dark forces and exorcisms along with the dark history in the monastery.

The ending of The Nun was definitely an “A-ha!” moment, and you definitely need to rewatch The Conjuring 2 as there are two scenes that feature the Warrens and tie up the whole film. I did jump at a few scenes which is definitely what I look for a horror movie to do for me. The fear and suspense were palpable, and hearing the audience’s nervous laughs and screams enhanced it. My only complaint would be how slow it started out, but it definitely redeemed itself once Sister Irene and Father Burke were introduced. I was very impressed with Bonnie Aarons’ portrayal of the nun and with this installment of the series and it definitely redeemed itself from Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation.

Overall Grade: B

Posted by Sarah Gregory in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
House of Tortured Souls – 2016 Horror Awards

House of Tortured Souls – 2016 Horror Awards

We here at The House of Tortured Souls love horror. It’s kind of our jam. And we love to see good horror get recognition. It can be argued that horror is more popular than ever, there are more conventions, festivals, and awards than ever. However, one thing bugged us here at HoTS, and from responses online, we weren’t the only ones. Some awards, not to call names (message me), stretch out the word horror way to far. Seriously Deadpool? Captian America: Civil War? I love me some Cap, and who can talk smack about Ryan Reynolds’ red spandex covered ass, but it’s not FUCKING horror.

So we said “Screw it. Let’s do this”. So here we are with the first annual House of Tortured Souls Awards. Neato huh? We can’t promise we wont make mistakes, can’t promise we don’t stutter step and come in a bit late (I planned to have this April 1st), but we do promise to keep it horror. No super heroes, no Tarzan, and no funny South African robots! What we got? Serial killers, zombies, vampires, ghosts and demons, we got ’em. No there are films that straddle that line of horror/ thriller. We accept that, but repeat after me, no friggin superheros or Jedi.

We are still learning, but we decided to jump in with both feet and stomp the shit out of it. We asked our staff to pick their favorites in a group of categories. Rules are the films have to be originally released in a mass audience format. So feature films released to VoD, DVD, or theater, for the FIRST time in 2016 are eligible. Secondary release to DVD, does not qualify it for 2016. Thus, a film released to theater in 2016 will qualify for 2016. If it is released to DVD in 2017, it would not qualify for 2017.

There is a slight difference for independent films. Since most of them will not get a wide release theatrical release, and it might be years before a VoD or DVD release. For independent films, they may be considered, if they have had a major festival release, are currently (award year) touring the festival circuit, or have a release to VoD, DVD, or theater, AND have not been nominated in a previous year. There’s a logic there as many Indie may tour the festival circuit for a couple years, this allows them a chance to be seen, but not to win multiple years. The HoTS staff will select four nominees per category, in case of an unbreakable tie (which we had a couple of), we may select five nominees in some categories. It’s a work in progress, but we think this is fair.

So without the proverbial further ado, here are the nominees.

Best Horror Movie 2016*

  • Green Room
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer
  • The Witch
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • 31

Best Horror Director 2016

  • Jeremy Saluner – Green Room
  • Andre Overdal – The Autopsy of Jane Doe
  • Roger Eggers – The Witch
  • Rob Zombie – 31

Best Actor Horror 2016

  • John Goodman – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Anton Yeltsin – Green Room
  • Patrick Wilson – The Conjuring
  • Richard Brake – 31

Best Actress Horror Movie 2016

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Vera Farmiga – The Conjuring
  • Anja Taylor Joy – The Witch
  • Blake Lively – The Shallows

Best Supporting Actor Horror 2016

  • Stephen Lang – Don’t Breathe
  • John Gallager Jr – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Christopher Lloyd – I Am Not A Serial Killer
  • Patrick Stewart – Green Room

Best Supporting Actress Horror 2016

  • Imogene Poots – Green Room
  • Kate Dickey – The Witch
  • Ella – The Monster
  • Madison Wolfe – The Conjuring 2

Best Television Horror

  • Stranger Things
  • Bates Motel
  • Ash versus Evil Dead
  • American Horror Story
  • The Exorcist

Best Actor TV Horror

  • Bruce Campbell – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Freddie Highmore – Bates Motel
  • Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead
  • Alfonso Herrara – The Exorcist

Best actress TV Horror

  • Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel
  • Millie Bobbie Brown – Stranger Things
  • Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story
  • Hannah Kasulka – The Exorcist

Best Supporting Actor TV Horror

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead
  • Ray Santiago – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Max Theriot – Bates Motel
  • Gaten Matarazzo – Stranger Things

Best Supporting Actress TV Horror

  • Kathy Bates – American Horror Story
  • Lucy Lawless – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Hannah Kasulka – The Exorcist
  • Olivia Cooke – Bates Motel

Best Indie Horror Movie

  • Circus of the Dead
  • The Barn
  • Plank Face
  • Family Possession

Best Indie Horror Director 2016

  • Billy Pon – Circus of the Dead
  • James Bickert – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Justin M Seaman – The Barn
  • Scott Schrimer – Plank Face

Best Indie Actor Horror 2016

  • Parrish Randal – Circus of the Dead
  • Nathan Barret – Plank Face
  • Mitchell Muselino – The Barn
  • Fred Lass – Bubba the Red Neck Werewolf

Best Indie Actress Horror 2016

  • Tristan Risk – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Chanel Ryan – Circus of the Dead
  • Susan M Martin – Plank Face
  • Lexi Dripps – The Barn

Best Supporting Actor Horror 2016

  • Bill Oberst – Circus of the Dead
  • Laurence Harvey – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Mitch Hyman – Bubba the Redneck Werewolf
  • Will Stout – The Barn

Best Supporting Actress Horror

  • Ellie Church – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Alyss Winkler – Plank Face
  • Lizzie Mears – Family Possessions
  • Brigid McCauley – Plank Face

(*Five nominees due to a tie.)

Posted by Allen Alberson in CONTESTS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, PARANORMAL, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, WOMEN IN HORROR, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: JULY

HISTORY OF HORROR: JULY

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in July. Click on thumbnails for full images.

July 1 - 7

 

July - Trilogy of Terror-1975 Karen Black07/01/1942
Karen Black (actress in many horror films) born

 

July - Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window (1954)07/02/1997
James Stewart (actor in Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Vertigo (1958)), (b. 1908)

 

July - Day of the Dead07/03/1985
Day of the Dead released theatrically

 

July - Silent Hill 3 video game07/03/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in Japan

 

July - Adam Brooks07/03/????
Adam Brooks, known for Astron-6, Manborg, and Father's Day, born

 

July - Scary Movie 207/04/2001
Scary Movie 2 released theatrically

 

July - Battle Royale II07/05/2003
Battle Royale II: Requiem released theatrically

 

July - Janet Leigh07/06/1927
Janet Leigh, actress in Psycho, born

 

July - Blood Feast07/06/1963
Blood Feast released theatrically

 

July - The Descent07/06/2005
The Descent released theatrically

 

July - The Mummy's Ghost07/07/1944
The Mummy's Ghost released theatrically

 

July - Scary Movie07/07/2000
Scary Movie released theatrically

July 8 - 14

July - The Raven07/08/ 1935
The Raven released
theatrically

 

July - Phantasm 207/08/1988
Phantasm 2 released
theatrically

 

July - Dark Water 200507/08/2005
Dark Water released
theatrically

 

July - Dean Koontz07/09/1945
Dean Koontz (writer Phantoms (1989), Odd Thomas (2013)) born

 

 

July - Fred Gwynne07/10/1926
Fred Gwynne (actor in The Munsters (1964) and Pet Sematary (1989)) born (d. 1993)

 

 

July - Michael Rosenbaum07/11/1972
Michael Rosenbaum (actor in Urban Legend (1998) and Cursed (2005)) born

 

July - Tod Browning07/12/1880
Tod Browning (director of Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1931)) born (d. 1962)

 

July - Lon Chaney, Jr07/12/1973
Lon Chaney, Jr. (actor in Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and The Wolfman (1941)) dies (b. 1906)

 
July - Michelle Rodriguez07/12/1978
Michelle Rodriguez (actress in Resident Evil (2002) and The Breed (2006)) born
 

July - Halloween: Resurrection07/12/2002
Halloween: Resurrection released theatrically

 

July - Stellan Skarsgard

Image courtesy WireImage.com

07/13/1968
Stellan Skarsgård (actor in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)) born

 

July - Sid Haig07/14/1939
Sid Haig (actor in The Brotherhood of Blood(2007), The Devils Rejects (2005),
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)) born is born

 

July - The Chronicle07/14/2001
The Chronicle premieres on television

July 15 - 21

 

July - Larry Cohen07/15/1941
Larry Cohen (writer, director, producer known for of Phone Booth (2002), A Return to Salem's Lot (1987), The Stuff (1985)) born

 

July - Kingdom Hospital07/15/2004
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital ends its run on television

 

July - The Fly07/16/1958
The Fly released theatrically

 

 

July - Jaws: The Revenge07/17/1987
Jaws: The Revenge released theatrically

 

 

July - Eight Legged Freaks07/17/2002
Eight Legged Freaks released
theatrically

 

 

July - Prom Night07/18/1980
Prom Night released theatrically

 

July - Aliens

07/18/1986
Aliens released theatrically

 

July - Arachnophobia07/18/1990
Arachnophobia released theatrically

 

 

July - Hideo Nakata07/19/1961
Hideo Nakata (director of Ringu (1998), Ringu 2 (1999), and Dark Water (2002)) born

 

June - Tales from the Crypt (original)07/19/1996
Tales from the Crypt ends its run on television

 

July - The Frighteners07/19/1996
The Frighteners released theatrically

 

July - The Breed07/19/2001
The Breed released theatrically

 

July - The Conjuring07/19/1964
The Conjuring released theatrically

 

July - The Devil Rides Out07/20/1968
The Devil Rides Out released theatrically

 

July - Dracula07/20/1979
Dracula released theatrically

 

July - Castlevania Dracula X07/20/1995
Castlevania: Dracula X released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America

 

July - The Haunting07/20/1999
The Haunting released theatrically

 

July - Jeepers Creepers07/20/2001
Jeepers Creepers released theatrically

 

 

July - Castlevania Dracula X07/21/1972
Castlevania: Dracula X released
on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan

 

 

July 22 - 28

 

July - James Whale07/22/1889
James Whale (director of The Invisible Man (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)) born (d. 1957)

 

July - The Hills Have Eyes07/22/1977
The Hills Have Eyes released theatrically

July - Orca07/22/1977
Orca released theatrically

 

July - Jaws 3-D07/22/1983
Jaws 3-D released theatrically

July - The Devil's Rejects07/22/2005
Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects released theatrically

 

 

July - Castlevania Chronicles - Japan07/23/1993
Castlevania Chronicles released on the X68000 in Japan

 

 

July - Chris Sarandon07/24/1942
Chris Sarandon (actor in The Sentinel (1977), Fright Night (1985), and Bordello of Blood (1996)) born

 

 

July - Ileana Douglas07/25/1965
Illeana Douglas (actress in Cape Fear (1991) and Stir of Echoes (1999)) born

 

 

July - Michael C. Williams07/25/1973
Michael C. Williams (actor in The Blair Witch Project) born

 

July - Night of the Seagulls07/26/1976
Night of the Seagulls released theatrically

 

 

July - The Amityville Horror07/27/1979
The Amityville Horror released theatrically

 

 

July - Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan07/28/1989
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan released theatrically

 

July - Deep Blue Sea07/28/1999
Deep Blue Sea released theatrically

 

July 29 - 31

 

July - Zombi 307/29/1987
Zombi 3 released theatrically

 

July - Cherry Falls07/29/2000
Cherry Falls released theatrically

 

July - The Blair Witch Project07/30/1999
The Blair Witch Project released theatrically

 

 

July - Mario Bava07/31/1914
Mario Bava (director of Black Sunday and The Girl Who Knew Too Much) born (d. 1980)

 

July - Invisible Agent07/31/1942
Invisible Agent released theatrically

 

July - Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man07/31/1951
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man released theatrically

 

July - The Lost Boys07/31/1987
The Lost Boys released theatrically

 

July - Buffy the Vampire Slayer07/31/1992
Buffy the Vampire Slayer released theatrically

Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

Conjuring Up A Spin-off

By Dixielord

The Conjuring 2 is still in the theaters and already a spin-off is officially in the works with The Nun. The will be the second movie spinning away from the series based (somewhat) on the real life (somewhat) adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The original Conjuring film lead to the spin-off demon dolly film Annabelle and is itself is in line for a sequel.

The Nun is coming.

The Nun is coming

The Nun Is Coming

It's still very early in the process, but as of now Conjuring director James Wan is only aboard as a producer. David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2) is attached to write the script, but that's pretty much it as no director or cast has been named this early. Bonnie Aarons (Drag Me to Hell) portrayed the nun in The Conjuring 2 but there is no word on whether she will reprise the role or not.

We do know that the story will follow the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2. We can only assume, and it's a fairly safe assumption, that it will delve into the back story of the demon Valak or the nun whose form he took. Most likely both.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the nun was actually a late addition to The Conjuring 2. Initially, Wan planned on a horned demon representing Valak. However, Lorraine Warren told him of an experience where she had encountered a swirling vortex with a hooded figure inside. Thus, Wan decided to combine the hooded nun figure with the demon Valac. The demonic nun was born, and the seeds were planted for The Nun spin-off.

Who Was Valak?

Valac looks nothing like The Nun

The Conjuring 2 demon Valac as he is pictured in demonology

The demon Valak was not a creation for the film but actually exists. At least in the world of demonology and The Lesser Key of Solomon if not in our reality. In the Lesser Key of Solomon, Valak, or Valac is a President of Hell. Now there are several presidents, Kings and other royalty among the 72, so apparently there was a lot of power sharing in Hell. In the grimoire, Valac is the diviner of great secrets and can be summoned by worthy magicians. His physical form resembles a small winged boy astride a two-headed dragon. There are no reports of him using shitty CGI, which was my main complaint with The Conjuring 2 (The Crooked Man).

The Nun from the Blues Brothers

What's more frightening than The Nun from Conjuring 2? The Penguin!!

The Nun actually has some material and potential. If they go at it hardcore and don't worry about trying to make a film for the masses. Give us an old school nun possessed by the devil with sleaze, sex, and abominations! We believe in you! Actually, nah, that's not likely to happen. It's probably going to follow the lines of Annabelle and play it fairly safe. While I enjoyed both Conjuring films, the first more than the second, Annabelle bored me. I hope The Nun is closer to its cinematic parents than its cousin.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Haunting

MOVIE REVIEW: The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Haunting

By Dixielord

James Wan returns with a follow up to his hit The Conjuring with The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Haunting. Like the original, The Conjuring 2 is based on a case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, demonologists and paranormal investigators. The Warrens are probably most famous for their investigation of what would become known as The Amityville Horror and the movie based on it. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) and Patrick Wilson (The Ruins, Insidious) return to star as The Warrens.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring 2

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring was a hit, both at the box office and with horror fans. Sequels, however rarely love up to the original. While I ended up enjoying The Conjuring 2, I do feel it was a step down from the first film. The Conjuring earned its R rating due to a pervasive sense of dread that ran through the entire film, a dark, oppressive feeling that left me uneasy, and made me fear for the main characters, even though I know in real life they survived the incident.

Upside down, the way you turn me The Conjuring 2

Upside down, the way you turn me
The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 never achieved that level of unease. That's not saying it didn't have it's moments. There were scenes, especially involving the kids that were genuinely scary. The possession scene near the end reminded me a lot of Reagan's possession in The Exorcist. But the scenes, especially in the first half of the film were too far and in between to keep that dread going. It needed that to keep me at a heightened sense of unease, to keep me on the edge of my seat. That's when a jump scare really works. It's when all scares really work in a film.

The demonic nun was fun, and I'll admit I jumped a few times with her scenes. She was visually impressive and the effects were well done. However the “crooked man” CGI was really bad. It reminded me of animation from The Wall, or a Monty Python skit. That's not knocking those two properties, both were great in their time, but neither was horror, and it's a good 30 plus years since either s prime. The ending two was a bit of a let down for me. Sorry but as a horror and possession fan, that ending is all too common and clichéd.

But I still enjoyed the film. Mostly because of two reasons. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. This was as much a movie about the Warrens, and their scenes made the film. I have a feeling that I like Vera and Patrick's version if the couple more than I would like the real couple. My one real experience with the real Lorraine Warren makes me think she is far more of a religious zealot than her movie counterpart. But I guess when you are dealing with demons from hell, it's best to not be wishy washy about your beliefs.

The real Ed and Lorraine Warren subjects of The Conjuring 2

The real Ed and Lorraine Warren subjects of The Conjuring 2.

Between the love story of the Warrens, and the couple of really bad CGI scenes, there were some good scares. There were some honestly creepy scenes involving the kids, especially Janet ( New Orleans resident Madison Wolfe). It just doesn't hold the fear and tension throughout the entire film.

Janet's just exorcising her rights in The Conjuring 2

Janet's just exorcising her rights in The Conjuring 2.

The Conjuring 2 isn't a bad film, I don't consider it a waste of my money, but as a horror film, it is a bit of a let down. When compared to the original, that let down is even harder. Fans of the Warrens will still want to see it. Fans of Vera and Patrick will really enjoy it, as will casual horror fans who don't like more extreme or unnerving films. But as a scary, disturbing horror film, it fumbles pretty hard. Unless you are a real fan of the Warrens, or more so Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, wait till it hits Linnet.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments