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Supernatural Sat: The Conjuring 2
In keeping the viewer invested in the Warren Files, James Wan ensures the audience gets a brief recap connecting all of the movies together. To set up this movie, The Conjuring 2, the first movie ends with Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) telling his wife, Lorraine, (Vera Farmiga) that the archdiocese wants them to investigate a case in Amityville, New York. To open The Conjuring 2, Lorraine in a Voice over reveals that this was one of the cases that stayed with her long after the case was over, and if there was ever a place that was truly evil, this was the place. Then as the camera pulls back the viewers are treated with an eerily familiar sight; the odd, almost jackyl lantern eye shaped windows in the creepy home on Ocean Drive in Amityville, New York.
In an interview I read Miss Lorraine was asked if she had been back to the house since she and her husband Ed had researched the home in preparation for the archdiocese to determine if they needed to intervene. At the time she had not been back. The place had terrified her so. The Conjuring 2 clarifies one of the reasons, at least for the sake of the movie as to why. In the movie the question asked in the first Conjuring as to why she was so terrified and stayed in bed for eight days is revealed. During the exorcism on the poor uneducated farmer Lorraine had a vision of Ed violently being murdered by an inhuman spirit. In Amityville, in the Lutz/Defeo home, she had the vision again. This time, though she was given an image of the demon who would murder Ed. An evil who would take the form of a possessed nun. The image would so startle her that in the movie, Ed calls Lorraine back from her spirit walk, telling her she has done enough, and she need to return to her body. Seeing the image of Miss Lorraine, on the staircase, in Amityville, clearly shaken, leads me to believe that she did indeed see something that shook her to her very foundations.
To further connect the two movies, Ed would have these dreams, and he’d wake up and paint what it was to rid the image from his subconscious. One of the images that he painted was the farmhouse used in the first Conjuring movie. The image that scared Miss Lorraine in the film was that Ed was having dreams of the same fallen nun. She told Ed that this was a sign that they needed to stop doing investigations or it was going to get him killed. Ed told her that her visions were a gift of God and if she had a vision of his death that he believed it was so she could stop it from happening. (In reality, we know that Ed Warren had a long life surrounded by friends and family, helping anyone and everyone he could as much as he could.) She was still afraid and was wary of taking the case in England when their friend, a priest informed them that their was a case that was getting increasing attention and would rival Amityville. The church was concerned that it could be a possible hoax because of the flack they were getting over how many times George and Kathy Lutz had changed their story.
Lorraine seemed reluctant to take the case but would ultimately join Ed to investigate the claims that of the family in Enfield who were being tormented. Luckily for the mother, Peggy, her best friend’s husband had called the police thinking someone had been playing sick tricks on the recently divorced mother and her children. Two sworn officers of the law had seen a chair slide across the room. In an interview with the news, one of the officers swore she had not only seen the chair slide across the floor, but had checked it for strings or wires to determine if they’d been set the chair up to do it by remote or by pulling it. She admitted that she could not find any. She’s also the one who asked her parish priest to help the family since she could not.
When the Warrens arrived in England, they were picked up by a man named Morris Gross, who had been investigating the hauntings on behalf of the family. He seemed to tick Ed Warren off as he kept interrupting the mother, Peggy from answering questions. As a researcher, Ed wanted to hear it directly from an adult who was experiencing the phenomenon, not second hand, from someone not intimately involved. Ed also wanted to ensure that she was not faking the possession so he made the daughter, Janet who was the alleged target of the demon to hold water in her mouth while Ed attempted to communicate with the spirit. His goal was to prevent the child from faking a scary voice.
However, the ghost informed Janet that he would not perform for Ed and Lorraine Warren unless their backs were turned. They did and the room darkened. Ed asked the spirit if he knew who he was. The spirit mocked him, “Ed, Eddie, Edward.” Ed responded that Ed was fine, but the spirit mocked him again saying his father called him, “Edward.” Ed told him he was wrong and it did not matter what his father called him. The ghost named Bill claimed that he was not a God fearing man and mocked him as if he were afraid. Ed took off his cross and put it behind him to reveal he’d never be afraid because he had the cross that represented God’s love. It seemed to pain the ghost and everything got bright again as the ghost went away. Everyone turned back in concern for the girl.
Lorraine reveals that she is unable to sense any presence. Ed suggests that perhaps the child suffers from some form of psychosis. Lorraine dismisses this because her heart tells her to believe them. She reveals that she senses the family’s fear but nothing else. The fear and everything brings Janet and her mother closer together as the child reveals the big fight they had was simply because she wanted to look cool in front of her best friend. Another little girl, who despite in having a hand in the spirit being drawn to the home (they made a ouija) had abandoned her at the first sign of the ghost.
Despite tying herself to her mother’s bed with a jump rope poor Janet is stuck to the ceiling as the ghost of Bill torments her. The girl would mysteriously be sucked into the room in which the activity occurred, despite the room being locked with a chain to the radiator. The child would be surrounded by all the crosses the neighbors had been donating to the family. These would become objects in which the spirit could torture her as they had turned upside down. Janet’s terrified screams would wake her mother first as she attempted to unlock the door to the room. Her mother would see the creature drag Janet back. The screams of the mother would wake the Warrens who would rush to help her. The ghost would try to strangle her with her curtain. Peggy swears to the Warrens she saw someone with her own eyes. However once they entered the room, the crosses were back in the proper position, but one was still rocky slightly as Lorraine glances up during the frightened ramblings of the child and her mother. She sees it. The Warrens then meet with the skeptical parapsychologist who claims Janet is faking and Morris Gross’ team who wholeheartedly believe the family. Gross reveals to the Warrens that he spoke to the homeowner and things that they had discovered about the ghost were true. However, the parapsychologist noted that all information was a matter of public record and any member of the family could have overheard it from the neighbors.
Lorraine seems upset by the dismissal of the parapsychologist and then clearly shuts the woman down when she scoffs that she’s not sure what’s worse the people who prey on their willingness to believe or the demons. Lorraine says, “The demons.” The parapsychologist backs down and goes to attack the mother who claims she’s masterminded everything just to get better housing from the government. Things that she had started prior to the girl’s torture. The parapsychologist seems encouraged by Ed’s debunking of the image of Janet being levitated because it appears that she’s jumping.
Due to Lorraine’s gut telling her that she should believe the family the spirit gets depressed. The demon had accidently revealed its true name to Lorraine weeks ago and needed the Warrens gone before they realized that the demon that they had both seen was at work in Enfield. So the terrorized child was informed that since the parapsychologist was bringing in a full team to record evidence the church would need to backup the Warrens’ investigation, she would have to do something drastic or her entire family would be killed. So in clear view of a camera, with a little added boost from the spirit, she threw the kitchen table across the room. The parapsychologist gloated that the whole thing was a hoax and she was going to tell the world. Feeling duped, Ed convinced Lorraine to leave, rather than damage their reputation any further after the Amityville controversy.
The Warrens plan was to help the family to get back to being a family. He bought them records that had previously been taken by their father when he left. The record player was broken so he sang to the family and hinted that no one laugh especially Lorraine. Lorraine was a little sad even though it was a love song that he sang. He began working on things to help better the family’s life. Things that were fixable that is. The chaos in which the demon thrived on. So Ed fixed the leaky faucet while talking to Janet. He told her the story about being afraid and how a nun once told him that God would be there for all those who need. So he takes the crucifix he wears around his neck as an adult, and told the thing that jerked him from his bed that he better leave him alone or, “God would kick his butt.” This would make the girl laugh and he’d tell her that it would take years before he found someone who believed him. He asked if she knew what he did then. Janet knowingly replies, “You married her.” Since it was the happy ending to the story Lorraine had told her when they had arrived. Ed would attempt to fix the washing machine that had flooded the basement. He would also learn that they were right under the kitchen and he could hear the children happily playing.
Peggy would see something in the water and follow Ed down the basement stairs curious. She would warn him that there was something behind him. Ed wouldn't see it but the ghost of Bill would grab her and try to drown Peggy. He would rescue her and he would see a bite mark of the same size and ragged shape as was found on Janet’s neck. Ed would search under the water and come up with the broken dentures of old Bill.
As the family begins to heal the bond they begin to decorate for Christmas. Janet’s older sister would see her be frightened. She’d ask her what she sees and Janet would reveal that the ghost was playing with the knives. Her little brother, Johnny would get bold and head towards the kitchen, telling his sisters to remember what Mr. Warren said. The ghost was a bully and they had to protect their sister as they did when someone teased the baby of the family, Billy for his stutter. He marched to the kitchen determined to protect his sister, his home, and his family. He’d find knives stabbed into the kitchen table, and would grab one. When he went to the kitchen, Janet would be teleported away. She’d be found in the kitchen with a knife. The demon would attempt to lock Ed and Peggy in the basement. It did not keep Lorraine and Morris out. As they came in the door slammed. Janet would disappear and Johnny would be found in the closet.
Janet was found contorted in the walls and in in apparent full demonic possession. The ghost of Bill attempts to tell Ed something. All he gets out before he places the cross on the child’s head is “They won’t be…” This is when the parapsychologist fails to hide her satisfaction that she has proof that Janet is faking everything. That she was throwing everything and knew she was in full view of a camera.
Peggy would grow increasingly angry as the parapsychologist smugly informed her that this was all a show to get attention and something for nothing. She would angrily accuse Peggy that she put Janet up to everything and then she'd demand what so the police are in on this too. The parapsychologist in her arrogance would turn away without acknowledging something she had no way of knowing.
Peggy would question the Warrens about whether or not she believed them. Janet fearfully looked at them in fear that they would believe and fearful of what would happen if they didn't.
Ed would inform Peggy that they would like to help but the minute the Catholic Church saw the video that the parapsychologist was gloating over they’d call it a hoax and withdraw. Peggy heartbroken and angry asks them all to leave. Gross attempts one final plea to Lorraine that perhaps if she could reach out to the spirit, as a medium, to find out what it wants they could help the family. Lorraine reveals she has tried countless times but she cannot connect with the spirit. She senses nothing but the stifling fear of the family. Her best friend’s husband defends Peggy by saying “You offer her a lifeline and just yank it away because of one thing.” It’s not something the Warrens or Gross want but once Peggy has kicked them out of the home they cannot help her without her permission.
They said they’d go to the archdiocese and reveal everything they’d experienced to try and get a second intercession but do to the only concrete evidence revealing Janet’s faked event that things changed. That they work for the church and they’d be brought home the minute the parapsychologist sent them her video. Ed compliments Gross on being the first and most ardent of those wishing to help the family. He reminds Ed of what he said in the diner when they all met away from the house. That sometimes you have to make a leap of faith. He firmly believed something else had caused Janet to do the things that she did even if it was in a full demonic state all they had was her acting out. They’d glance back at the house to see a sad, terrified Janet touching the window. Lorraine doesn’t feel right about leaving and neither does Ed. As Peg’s best friend’s husband drops them off at the station they watch him as they leave sad.
Janet’s siblings ask if she faked everything and why. She reveals to them she had to because she was told by the spirit if she didn’t make everyone leave he would kill her brothers and sisters. That the bites she and her mother received were only a tiny fraction of his powers. Perhaps the demon informed her of the horrific things that occurred to the Defeo family during Ronald Defeo’s possession.
Luckily for the family, Lorraine would be unable to let things go. She finds it all to neat and tidy that the only room that they had wired at the time is the room Janet would go to so that everything would be captured on camera. Ed would drop the reel to reel and see something that he could not initially explain. He would tell Lorraine to hurry and help him set up the tape recorders to play the recording Gross gave him. As if he was guided by an unseen hand that reminded him of the garbled messages Bill tried to give to Ed. He thought Bill referred to himself. When the tapes were played together it was Bill begging Ed for help that the demon was using him to terrify the family. That he was being forced to do and say the things to hurt the family. Lorraine would then be paralyzed by a horrific vision of the family. She would learn from her vision that the ghost of the old man named Bill was being used as a conduit to increase the fear of the girl. She would be taken back to the house to face the ghost of Bill. He came to visit his family but they were not there any longer. He wants to move on to the afterlife but he reveals to Lorraine that the demon has trapped him there because it is hell bent on possessing Janet. He reveals the demon almost has her and Lorraine wants to know how to help her. He claims that the demon has been following Lorraine. He says that he’ll only release Janet if he gets a soul of someone he wants even more. The demonic spirit then kicks her out of the vision and Lorraine awakens with a nosebleed. He reveals that the demonic spirit takes the blasphemous form of a nun to attack her faith. She tells Ed that they must get Vic, the best friend’s husband to take them back.
Once returned the camera returns to the house Margaret is attacked. Once Peg gets Margaret and the boys out of the home she tells them to go across the street to her best friend’s home. She cannot leave Janet but the demon forcefully locks the door to keep the out as the Warrens desperately race back to the house. Vic and the Warrens try to puzzle out the message Bill gave them in an attempt to save the girl. They realize they mean a name is given when someone is born and when someone has the name of the demon they hold the power to exorcise it. Ed is not sure of how do they get rid of it. He reveals that a demon that is powerful enough to block Lorraine’s ability is to strong for Ed to handle on his own.
When they get back home Ed and Vic try to break the door down. When they can’t, Ed breaks a window to try and get in. The demon throws a couch at him. Peg is worried about her daughter and tries to follow Ed. They finally convince Vic to get Peg and the girls into the car. The demon tries to lock Lorraine out of the house. Vic attempts to break the door down while Lorraine begs him to wait for her that he cannot find the spirit alone. Ed is worried about Janet and trying to get her to the church. They both reveal they are scared and she reminds him of her vision. He tells her that he loves her and he has to do it as he rushes into the home in attempt to save Janet. He attempts to break through the floor to save her.
Now fans of the Warrens know that he lived several decades past the events in this movie and investigated many other cases. The question remains was Ed able to save the girl and was Lorraine able to remember the demon had accidentally revealed itself to her by spirit writing the demon’s name into her Bible?
Was Janet's whole story a hoax like she originally pretended to save her family?
© 2018 Kristina Stancil