Friday, June 17, 2016

Review of The Conjuring 2 - Based On Real Story

by Tami Jackson

Since I provide house-clearing and house-blessing services myself, this review should be a little different from most written about horror films. I loved this movie and not because it was inspired by one of most well-documented haunting and child possession cases ever. The council house (or public assistance household) that inspired the film is located in Brimsdown, Enfield, England.

What People Said About The Movie: Conjuring 2

Happy to admit that Conjuring 2 really surprised me. I'd expected it to pale in comparison to The Exorcist (what film on child-possession doesn’t?) but fact is, I jumped TWICE during the movie. I also caught myself laughing nervously.

Prior to watching, I ordered a bloody mary from the bar inside a Crab Pot Restaurant. There I met a couple of younger women, one of them an enlisted mechanic stationed out of the Norfolk Virginia naval base. She had just seen the film and cautioned me that it had made HER jump and she laughed through it too.
Without providing any spoilers, I have to say this is definitely a film worth seeing because it will leave you asking questions about life in the paranormal realm and about humanity over all. After the movie, as I was just leaving the theater, I overheard a Hispanic man tell his comrades that he was going to stop to use the bathroom, and his friend quipped: “Be careful. The lights might go out.”

Real life Hodgkin children. Can you just imagine,
Your little sister constantly waking you up:
talking in a creepy old man's voice?


In the real world, there is so much doubt around paranormal investigation. So many self-appointed experts point fingers and scream “charlatan” any time there’s a suggestion that things happen which cannot be explained from the tangible physical mechanics or electronics. On another level, famous people often dance in at the very last moment and steal all the limelight from professionals doing the actual research. (That was the case with The Conjuring 2 where Journalist/Author and Parapsychologist Guy Lyon Playfair and Maurice Grosse, both who are members of a paranormal research society, were actively involved in trying to help the family being haunted - yet the movie is not really about them. It's much more about world renown paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, from Connecticut, USA, who pranced in for a mere 24 hour stay).

First. Let me just say that the Warrens come across as unbiased and well intentioned. No insult against them. The film is fantastic. I just wanted to mention the real investigators for historical fact. 

Then? I need to say that those who mock paranormal investigation are just plain ignorant, inexperienced, and too closed-minded to learn anything beyond what they were taught before they reached seven-years of age.

In the original Brimsdown haunting case, police officers, paranormal researchers, child psychologists and neighbors saw furniture move alone, household objects flew through the air, doors opened and closed and cold breezes were felt. An 11-year old named Janet spoke like a 70-something old man and loud knocks and bangs could be heard through the house. Matches also spontaneously caught fire and many more strange phenomena were recorded by numerous eye witnesses and professionals. Like any paranormal investigation I’ve been on, camera and recorder batteries were quickly drained.

So many accounts of the actual story are already recorded. Here are a couple of fun links:


An element of this movie (and in the real story) that seemed really profound to me is the fact that some people lie, including troubled 11-year-old girls who have daddy issues. Yet just because they may fake an aspect of a haunting – it doesn’t negate all other evidence that suggests evil spirits are still present. The film presents the idea that evil spirits may be the REASON some people lie. In fact, documentation of the original story prove the investigation turned up evidence of childhood mischief on top of paranormal activity.

On its face, childhood pranks may sound obvious. Yet too often in research, one lie makes everything else someone says seem suspect. That was the case in this original documentation and that fact sets the perfect mystery situation for the movie with its awesome red herrings.

Genre: Suspense/ThrillerHorror
Directed by James Wan, and written by both Chad and Carey Hayes.

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