Supernatural Sat The Conjuring Review
In reviewing this movie it is important for people to understand that these events, while based on a true story, are a dramatized version that the studio wanted sanitized so as not to be liable for the story to be to frightening for movie goers. It watching this movie again I was also startled to realize that I missed Lorraine Warren making a cameo in a scene in which her acting counterpart, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, the actor playing her husband, Ed Warren explain the three stages of possession. Andrea Perron, (played by Shanley Caswell) who is the oldest daughter of the supernaturally oppressed family reveals that the basics of the story is correct. She was also surprised that when she saw the movie there were elements that the set designers could not possibly know about how she had decorated her room as a young girl but would eerily mirror in the production.
Andrea would also reveal in an interview with the Big Seance that the girls who represented herself and her sisters would form their own sisterhood and life long friendships from working on the film. She fondly remembered doing a publicity event with Joey King, who played her younger sister, Christine was constantly on the phone with her young cast mates, and gloating that she was at an event with one of the real people who experienced the horrific events.
Andrea, (a wonderful woman who interacts with her fans on Facebook’s Buttercup Brigade), reveals that her books are the recollections of her family and closer to the truth (to the best of their family’s memories), and are currently being adapted to screenplays. It is important to note that Andrea’s own childhood and appearance was closer to the actress who played Nancy.
Andrea wants fans to realize that despite the fact that the Conjuring movie begins with the Warrens meeting with the nurses that owned Annabelle that the only connection that the demonic doll has with her family is that both cases were investigated by the Warrens. She also explains that the company that owns the likeness rights to the actual doll would not allow the production company to use the same doll.
Now the review:
Ed and Lorraine Warren listen to the nurses tell a horrifying tale that they were told by a medium that a little girl named Annabelle had died, was lonely, and liked to play with the doll. The doll sits in a nearby chair, looking ragged, from the events of the Annabelle movie. How the doll would move, leave them notes, and would return even when they would throw the doll in the dumpster. As nurses, they bought into the belief it was the ghost of a lonely little girl, and gave the ghost permission to possess the door. Wilson’s portrayal of Ed Warren is very emotional. He reacts with shock that the nurses allowed the spirit to inhabit the doll. He then educates them that a ghost cannot possess objects. They do not have the power. Diabolicals use physical items to interact and manipulate humans. The goal is not to inhabit objects. They are used as conduits to latch onto humans. He informs them the goal was to possess one of the girls.
The doll would have some cameos in the movie. It seemed to draw the Warrens young daughter, Judy to venture into the locked room the Warrens used to keep the items they accepted from those who had been tormented by the items. The doll seem to have an almost hypnotic draw for the little girl and when the demon wanted to warn the Warrens away from the case, Annabelle would be used to frighten and torment the young girl. This would also be another connection the movie would use to connect the cases.
Carolyn Perron was the primary target of the ghost. She is physically attacked on a regular basis by the diabolical controlling the other adult spirits in the home. In the movie the girls all have interactions with the ghost. The father, Roger, not so much. He was mostly there trying to protect his family from the activity, but his work kept him from being at home when some of the most terrifying events occurred. The demon was so strong it was able to have simultaneously attack members of the family. The bruises would appear on Carolyn first. Then Andrea would claim her room had a foul smell her first night in the home. Christine would be next. She would get picked on with nasty smells and her bare feet being tugged on while she slept. The youngest, April would begin interact with a young male ghost, named Rory who was friendly. He wanted a friend and had given one of his favorite toys to her so she’d be able to see him. Rory is based on the ghostly little friend, April Perron played with as a child. However, the real little ghost was named Oliver.
Christine would see the creature behind the door as he it slowly began to close the door. Her fear would wake her sister, Nancy who shared her room. Nancy would get up to attempt to show her nothing was behind the door. The creature would form behind her but was only visible to Christine. When her screams of terror woke her parents the door would slam. It would attempt to keep them out to inflict even more fear on Christine, and to an extent Nancy who could not get the door open.
One of the younger daughters, Cindy, (Mackenzie Foy) had previously had a problem sleepwalking. She would began sleepwalking again once they moved into the home. She would end up in Andrea’s room bumping repeatedly in the armoire in her room. The first time, Roger would be home, and would able to lead her back to her room. The second time it was revealed that the father would not be home. Instead of leading her to her own room, Andrea led her back to her bed. Once Andrea acted in a protective, almost motherly way she became a target for the demon. This would happen at the same time their mother would be locked in the cellar so she could not help. Roger would drop his gear as he returned home to rush in and try to protect Andrea.
This would be the point in the movie in which Carolyn Perron would attend a lecture the Warrens were having. A college student would introduce Carolyn to the Warrens. My theory is that this is a veiled reference to the fact that Keith and Carl Johnson, college students, and the first investigators on the case were involved. Ed was reluctant to get involved due to some veiled reference to some horrifying experience Lorraine had. Once Carolyn mentioned that she had five daughters who were being tormented, Lorraine accepted the case, being a mother herself.
The Warrens explain that they would be there to research and collect evidence that the Catholic church would need to perform an exorcism. Roger would ask if they would help since they were not religious and that none of the children had been baptized. The Warrens would be very hands on in the investigation and when Andrea was attacked, the men jumped to attention. They tried to free her from the attack. Lorraine would grab scissors and sheer off the pieces of Andrea’s hair that was in the grip of the diabolical. It would be recorded and they’d use the piece as evidence.
The diabolical would begin to begin warning to Lorraine, threatening her daughter. She would be trapped in the cellar because the diabolical would catch a hold of her necklace. It would attempt to strangle her. She would then have a vision of her daughter being drowned and then the woman who committed suicide. Ed would want to back out of the investigation. Lorraine would explain that to protect their daughter they would have to help the family by sending the demon back to hell. The diabolical would follow them home and haunt their daughter, narrowly missing a rocking chair being smashed into Ed and Judy.
As they attempted to calm their daughter, a frantic Roger would call, and reveal he would return with the college student to learn that Carolyn had abducted Christine & April. They did not know where she was going. Carolyn would not speak to Christine who asked her where they were going. Try as Ed might, Lorraine joined him to save the family. Carolyn was in a full demonically possessed state and with no time to contact the priest, Ed was forced to perform the exorcism on his own. When they tried to remove Carolyn from the home to get her into the police car so they could rush her to the police, large burns appeared all over her body. A bruise in the form of a hangman’s noose appeared on her neck. The demon was refusing to release its victim. She was levitating and had bit a large bloody gash in the neck of the police officer who was partnered with the Warrens. He’d been on duty at the time and was able to use his patrol car to help them rush to the Perrons farmhouse. She had been found with a pair of scissors and was attempting to murder Christine. April had fled with Rory to his hiding place. Once they saved Christine the college student rushed about the house attempting to rescue April. Unknowingly, he revealed to the demon where April was hiding. The space was to small to pull April from the floor and the gap in the wall was barely enough space for Roger to frantically try to grasp his daughter’s hands in an attempt to pry her away from the demon. Lorraine was able to rush to the kitchen and place her rosary on Carolyn’s head. Demanding Carolyn fight and remember the day she had revealed to Lorraine was the most perfect loving day in recent memory.
Does Ed Warren successfully banish the demon back to hell? How exactly did he learn the name of the demon which really locks in the power of the exorcism? I guess you’ll have to pull it up on Netflix and find out.
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The true story of the Conjuring Haunting as told by the woman who lived it!
© 2018 Kristina Stancil