JUMPSCARECUT: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Directed by: James Wan
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, France O’Connor, Lauren Esposito

Written by Tom Sheffield

James Wan’s The Conjuring was a hit with horror fans when it released in 2013 and has since spawned a sequel (with a third film confirmed) as well as two successful spin-offs – Annabelle, of which a third film will release in 2020, and this year’s The Nun, which was based on the demonic Nun, Valak, who we meet in this entry of the Conjuring Universe. The Conjuring films are said to be based on the true case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren – paranormal investigators who were thrown into the public spotlight following their investigation at Amytiville (which the first film as based on).

The Conjuring 2 is based on the Enfield Haunting, which was a case the Warrens took in the late 70s. The Hodgson family being to experience supernatural occurrences in their home and Janet, the second eldest daughter, appears to be the spirit’s first target. The Warren’s are called in to investigate and determine whether there are supernatural forces at work or if it’s simply a hoax. Whilst investigating, Lorraine’s worst fears come true and she must discover the real truth behind the strange occurrence’s at the Hodgson residence.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren are two of my favourite pieces of casting in modern horror. They both have such a fantastic chemistry on-screen and they nail every single scene they’re in – no matter situation they’re thrown in to. Imagine my delight when I heard they’re confirmed to reprise their role in the upcoming third Annabelle film, which will focus on their room full of demonic possessions.

Joseph Bishara’s score never fails to send chills up my spine, especially in Valak’s earlier scenes when she appears to Lorraine. It’s a score that stuck with me for a good few days after I first watched the film, and makes my ears prick up during every re-watch. Don Burgess’ cinematography also elevates this horror by adeptly making the most of space in the small English house. Wan and Buress create a sense of paranoia that has you constantly looking in the darkest corners of every shot and will make leave your lights on.

At the heart of this horror is a message of family unity and strength through times of uncertainty. There’s a scene where Ed sings ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ (and gives a corker of an Elvis impression) and, for a moment, you forget the horrors tormenting the family. The Hodgson family are all smiling and laughing and Lorraine looks on dotingly – it’s a scene that you wouldn’t expect to make the biggest impact in a horror film, but, for me, it does.

Whilst the film isn’t as much of a mystery to us as it is the Warrens or anyone outside of the Hodgson family, it delivers some genuine spine-tingling moments and is sure to pique your curiosity of what really went on in that house. I recently began reading The Demonologists – a book based on the cases of The Warrens, including Annabelle the doll, Amytiville, and Enfield.

For me, The Conjuring 2 is the strongest entry  The Conjuring Universe by a fair margin. The cinematography, score, direction, set design, and everything in between all add something a little special to this film and it still manages to give me chills no matter how many times I re-watch it.

 

Tom’s Verdict:

4-5

Introducing JUMPSCARECUT 2018

This October we’re excited to be sharing our teams favourite horrors, scary films and spooky stuff throughout the entire month! Each day we’ll be sharing a review from a member of a team, ranging from cult classics to modern horrors, and we’ll also be doing some spooky stuff over on Twitter!

We’ll be kicking off our month long event with Abbies’ review of Mandy tomorrow! Other films you can expect to see on our site this month include Halloween (both the original and upcoming sequel!), Hereditary, The Conjuring 2, Suspiria, Alien, and LOTS more.

If you’re diving into the world of horror this October, be sure to let us know!

JC Cover - Copy

October is going to be a very busy month here at JUMPCUT what with out London FIlm Festival and Grimmfest coverage alongside JUMPSCARECUT and the new releases heading our way this month. Be sure to keep an eye on our social feeds for all the latest from us, and don’t forget you can find us on Apple News and Flipboard!

The Conjuring Universe Ranked & Timeline Breakdown

Written by Tom Sheffield

The highly anticipated latest spin-off in The Conjuring Universe, The Nun, is just days away, so we’re taking a look back at the universe’s previous entries, ranking them, and also looking at what the future hold’s for the franchise.

We’ve pieced together the timeline so far, with The Nun set to take take us to the early 1950s. Looking to the future of the universe, it’s probably fair to assume the The Conjuring 3, which was still having its script worked on when we last heard from Wan in August 2017, will take place following the events of the second film. However, earlier this year Wan confirmed that Annabelle 3 was in the works and set to release in 2019 with Gary Dauberman confirmed to return to the director’s chair. The plot details we’ve been given so far would lead us to believe this film takes place directly after The Conjuring 2 and will see Annabelle terrorise the Warren’s young daughter and bring the artefacts in their house to life. Wan said this third film is “basically Night at the Museum with Annabelle”

The Crooked Man, who we met in The Conjuring 2, is set to get his own spin-off. When asked about the film in August last year, Wan said the film was still in the early stages of development and that Mike Van Waes was penning the script. With Annabelle 3 already scheduled for next year, it looks like Wan and co. are in no rush with this film and they’re likely targeting a 2020 release.

conjuring timeline


Our team have come together to rank the four entries in The Conjuring Universe so far, the results of which you can find below! As always, the results are determined by combining the team’s individuals rankings and using a point based system to give us our final ranking, so their personal order may differ from the final combined results.

 

(#4) Annabelle

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

Well, someone has to be in last place and that just happens to be The Conjuring Universe’s first spin-off, John R. Leonetti’s Annabelle. We first met the Annabelle doll in The Conjuring and it only took 14 months before Annabelle was in cinemas across the globe.

This first spin-off is a prequel to The Conjuring and takes place in 1967. The plot follows Mia and John Form, a young couple expecting their first child. The same night John brings his wife home an old porcelain doll, two members of a cult brutally murder the Form’s next door neighbours, the Higgins, before breaking into their home. The police shoot dead one of the attackers, whilst the other slicers her own throat whilst grasping the doll. After their traumatic experience, the couple move homes and Mia gives birth to a healthy baby girl, Leah. However, after throwing away the doll before their move, she appears in one of their moving boxes and it’s not long before paranormal activities begin to occur. The couple seek the help of Father Perez (who then seeks the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren) to help them exorcise the demon possessing the doll.

(#3) Annabelle: Creation

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

Coming in third place is a prequel of a prequel, Annabelle: Creation, which was directed by David F. Sandberg. The film was released in 2017 after the Annabelle doll made a brief cameo in The Conjuring 2, where we learn she’s locked in the Warren’s house.

Annabelle: Creation takes place in 1955 as doll-maker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther open their empty home to Sister Charlotte and six young girls who have been left homeless after their orphanage is closed. We learn that the Mullins’ daughter, Annabelle, was killed in a car accident 12 years prior to the evens of this film, and the couple have locked her room to and forbade their new lodgers from going in there. Janice, one of the young girls, is crippled by polio and often feels left out when her friends are out playing and running around. One night, Janice finds a note that has ‘find me’ scribbled on it and sees that Annabelle’s room is now somehow unlocked. Janice discovers a porcelain doll locked away in a closet and unbeknown to her, she releases a powerful demon that begins to terrorize the Mullins couple and their guests. Sister Charlotte enlists the helps of Priests to help keep the spirit at bay, but the demon has other ideas…

SPOILERS AHEAD: After Janice becomes possessed by the demon, Sister Charlotte locks both her and the Annabelle doll in the closet where she was discovered at the beginning of the film. However, when police search the house the day after the incident the doll is the only thing in the closet. The possessed Janice managed to escape through a hole in the wall and relocates to Santa Monica to live in an orphanage. We then fast forward 12 years (1967) and Janice, who now goes by Annabelle, is adopted by the Higgins family.

Name ring a bell? It should.

The Higgins family are the couple brutally murdered at the beginning of Annabelle by none other that their adoptive daughter Annabelle and her boyfriend, who have joined a Satanic cult. We witness the murder of the Higgins through the window of their neighbours house, the Forms, and this immediately sets up the events of Annabelle. 

Annabelle: Creation also included a short post-credit scene that teased The Nun.

(#2) The Conjuring

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

Coming gracefully is second place is the film that kick-stared this horror universe, James Wan’s The Conjuring, which was released in 2013. The film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed Warren, characters that are the heart of this horror universe.

In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into a run-down farmhouse with their five daughters and their dog. Not long after they move in paranormal events begin to occur, including mysterious clapping, one of the children encounters a malevolent spirit, and two of them are attacked by a spirit who is lurching on their wardrobe. Fearing for her families life, Carolyn, fearing for her families life, contacts Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens investigate the house and agree an exorcism needs to be performed, but they need solid proof the house is haunted so they can seek authorisation from the Catholic Church to perform the exorcism. With time running out, the Warrens are in a race against time to help the Perron family.

(#1) The Conjuring 2

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

Taking the crown as our favourite entry to The Conjuring Universe is The Conjuring 2, which was released in 2016 and saw James Wan return to direct.

This sequel takes place in 1977 and is set in Enfield, London where a family believe the spirit of the man that used to live in the house is still present. After the whole family witness the paranormal activity, the local church enlists the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Lorraine is hesitant to help the family following a vision during a seance in which she followed a demonic nun to the body of her impaled husband. During their time at the Hodgson family home with two other paranormal investigators, evidence emerges that makes it appear as if Janet, one of the children, is playing a practical joke and calling it paranormal activity. Lorraine soon learns that the threat is more serious than she thought and learning who the demonic nun haunting her visions is is the key to helping the Hodgson family.

(It still blows my mind that Valak, the demonic nun, was an additional character added during reshoots of The Conjuring 2.)


 

Whilst you’re here, we highly recommend you checking out The Nursea short film that won a competition held by Warner Bros. when Annabelle: Creation was released. The competition asked entrants to create a short film to introduce a new spirit/demon to The Conjuring Universe that could potentially be given it’s own feature film. We have an exciting interview coming soon with the director of the short film, Julian Terry, who has had some exciting news lately that we can’t wait to talk to him about!

Watch This Space: 6th – 12th November

Every Monday we will be recommending films that are on TV that week, films playing at the cinema, and also remind you of those brilliant films hiding on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and possibly in your own collection.

In Cinemas

The Killing of a Sacred Deer: Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest directorial effort has a limited release here in the UK, but we highly recommend you seeking out a screening near you if possible. Those of you who enjoyed Lanthimos’ ‘The Lobster’, which also starred Colin Farrell, are in for a treat with his latest film. You can read our full review later this week! 

Murder on the Orient Express: Kenneth Branagh both directs and stars in the latest adaption of Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, but just how well does Branagh cope as both director and main star of the film? Our full verdict arrives on our site later this week (and on time, might we add!)

On TV

Monday

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (9pm, SYFY): Angelina Jolie grabs a pair of pistols and raids some tombs in this first attempt to bring beloved video game character, Lara Croft, to the big screen. In her first silver screen outing, Lara is goes up against super secret societ, the Illuminati, in a race to find an ancient artifact that possesses the ability to control time. All in all, it’s not a bad effort  from all involved and it’s a good excuse to watch Jolie kick some ass, and she’s joined by Daniel Craig and Iain Glen. It might be worth revisiting this in preparation for the upcoming reboot, which will star Alicia Vikander in the titular role.

The Conjuring 2 (6:40pm, Sky Cinema): James Wan’s sequel to his transformative paranormal horror ‘The Conjuring’ returns charming couple Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the cunning Ed and Lorraine Warren to their fearless pursuit of malevolent spirits terrorizing helpless families. Based around the true story of the Enfield haunting, round two continues Wan’s masterful building of tension and careful use of jump scares that free your attention to engage with the characters and nightmarish imagery that will have you hooked to this chilling case on Monday night.

Tuesday

Bridesmaids (9pm, ITV2): “It’s coming out of me like lava” depicts an unforgettable Melissa McCarthy scene that provides relentless laughter in Paul Feig’s comedy of 2011. Comedic starlet’s Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Bryne and a trifle more deliver stomach-aching hilarity with hyperbolic entertainment by simply following a group of women planning their friend’s wedding. Timeless fun hemmed with realistic dilemmas we can all connect to carries this giggle-fest into the hall of fame that’s bound to brighten anybody’s Tuesday evening.

Akira (11:30pm, SYFY): Hard to believe that ‘Akira’ first came out way back in 1988, and whilst hailed amongst anime fans as one of the best anime films ever made, the masses might not quite realise just how influential this film was and continues to be. Set in the dystopian “Neo-Tokyo”, the story focuses on a biker gang member who is turned into a rampaging psychopath by a shady military project. Massively ahead of its time and with visuals that are utterly iconic, ‘Akira’ is not just an anime masterpiece, but a masterpiece of modern cinema. For fans of futuristic sci-fi and dsytopian stories, this is an absolute must-watch, and a great entry point for anime as well.

Superbad (10:15pm, Sky Cinema Comedy): Arguably one of the best comedies of in recent years, ‘Superbad’ still entertains with every viewing, whether it’s your first or your 100th time. 10 years since it’s release, ‘Superbad’ and some of it’s iconic lines are still referenced today, which just demonstrates how loved it is. Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are 3 awkward high school friends who plan to end their high school senior year on a high by actually getting themselves invited to a party. With appearances from Emma Ston, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Joe Lo Truglio

Wednesday

The Inbetweeners Movie (9pm, E4): The brilliantly hilarious ‘The Inbetweeners’ ran on Channel 4 from 2008 – 2011 and followed Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil and their hapless journey through their teenage years. There’s not a person I didn’t know at school that didn’t watch this show, so when a film was released in 2011 everyone clambered to see the four awkward teenagers head on their lads holiday to Malia. Hilarity ensues from the the second it starts and the laughs keep coming right up until the credits begin to roll. Prepare to cringe like you’ve never cringed before, learn some iconic dance moves, and witness the ‘Pussy Patrol’ in action. Wednesday night sorted!

Moana (6:10pm, Sky Cinema Disney): When I was a young boy, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ were the big movies that were released by Disney. I loved them, I bought the soundtracks on cassette and played them over and over. Years went past and I never really felt same way about the other Disney releases, especially during their lull in the 00’s. So when I heard that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was involved in a new Disney animation by Ron Clements and John Musker, the writers of ‘Aladdin’, I became very excited. The result is the magnificent ‘Moana’. The film is packed with memorable songs and funny characters. ‘Moana’ is about a girl who travels across the ocean to save her island and people. This isn’t just an animation for kids, this is an animation for adults as well. It’s all truly beautiful. This is an instant classic. Enjoy.

Thursday

X-Men (7pm, Film4): This Bryan Singer film, along with ‘Blade’, could easily be the ones responsible for the current regeneration of the superhero / comic-book movie. Singer and Marvel brought a fresh look to a genre long since stale with exciting characters, cutting edge special effects and a cast of top name stars to deliver fun, fast and dazzling action for a franchise backed up with an extensive source material. Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen lead the younger heroes and villains like Hugh Jackman (before he became the franchise poster boy), Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Ray Park and Rebecca Romijn to name but a few. And what is also refreshing is how simple and minimal it is before comic book movies aimed to be bigger, better and louder each year. One of the original and best CBMs.

X-Men 2 (9pm, Film4): Bryan Singer brings back everything from the original ‘X-Men’ for this story of struggling to be accepted by society, feeling judged by others and adjusting to  brave new world; something many people can relate to which adds a big chunk of humanity, depth and emotion to our fictional heroes and villains on their journey. For that reason, it’s a great sequel that expands as a sequel should do on the original, with the original cast returning as well as new faces like Alan Cumming, Kelly Hu and Brian Cox. While it does seem to drag it’s heels a little in telling an extensive story, it never-the-less delivers all you want from an ‘X-Men’ movie and sets up far more to come.

The Invention Of Lying (10pm SyFy): British comedy powerhouse Ricky Gervais writes and directs his debut film in an attempt to conquer America with co-stars such as Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey and Louis C.K in a world where lying does not exist until Gervais invents the first one and his life changes forever.  After the thin veil of morality is played out. the film runs thin with many silly gags and jokes that are meant to be funny because no-one can lie, so all the sexual insults and put downs delivered dead-pan are meant to be witty, but they’re not. It’s just an excuse to throw as many jokes in as possible to offend and shock the audience with black comedy. It’s all too obvious and lazy for someone like Ricky Gervais to pen, and it’s not his best material at all. Stick to the stand-up and docu-soaps as they are where his true talent lies.

Friday

Dredd (11pm, Film4): This film deserves all the praise it gets, primarily for the fact it took risks. It aimed for an R / 18 rating to deliver brutal action, wonderfully authentic violence and adult themes where each bullet, punch and slice can be felt by us without catering to kids. With a tight plot that doesn’t require much thought (basically a Western take on ‘The Raid: Redemption’), Karl Urban erases Sylvester Stallone from memory as Judge Dredd in this stylish and visually grim looking film that harkens back to the unrestrained might of the 90s where directors weren’t afraid to lay down the R / 18 rating for 98mins of pure gold. Dredd dispenses justice as only Dredd can, taking on drug baron MaMa (Lena Headey) in a dangerous tower-block with his fellow Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). One way in, no way out. It’s a simple as that. And we STILL don’t have a sequel, and ‘Pitch Perfect’ has two. Sort it out Hollywood.

Silver Linings Playbook (12:05am, C4): In David O. Russell’s comedy-drama, Bradley Cooper is Pat Solatano, a man who vows effortlessly to regain his relationship with his estranged wife, who’s put a restraining order on him for nearly beating a man to death after getting caught cheating. Through his move back home with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), Pat meets a widowed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister of one of his buddy’s girlfriend. Tiffany approaches Pat casually with intercourse, but Pat insists he’s got his eyes set on rekindling his marriage. Tiffany then compromises to help him get her back if he will be her partner in an upcoming dance competition. Cooper and Lawrence share undeniable chemistry in their performances. Emotions begin to run high and feelings unfold as ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ tempts our charming side and the ability to take a gamble on romantic comedy love.

Iron Man 2 (8pm, E4): The most unfairly maligned of all the MCU films, in my opinion – Iron Man 2 is bags of fun with a great cast. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff features prominently (definitely a bonus for me) and the film also stars Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke and Sam Bloomin’ Rockwell. The Iron Man films have never been my favourite of the MCU but it’s mystifying to me that people prefer IM3 to this. I like that Romanoff is given her own backstory with Tony Stark (as she is with Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier), which makes her choice of who to side with in Civil War all the more interesting. Like many others, I am crying out for Black Widow to have her own film. Anyway, I like Iron Man 2 (one of my many wrong MCU opinions) and Sam Rockwell is always worth your time. Give it another chance.

A huge thank you to contributors this week:  Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Jo Craig, Fiona Underhill, Dave Curtis, Sarah Buddery