Rapid Review: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

9

The-Conjuring-2-Poster

“I know your name, demon, and that gives me dominion over you!”
– Lorraine Warren

SYNOPSIS: Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit. – via IMDB

the conjuring 2

GRADE 2What. The. Heck. I mean really! This movie was hyped up, it was raved about, people adored it, it got compared to the first. Let me tell you what it has in common with the first – Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. That’s it. I am telling you. When The Conjuring was released, I really liked the movie, up until the final third. It relied on atmosphere and was well acted, all of that. Upon rewatching it, I found it to be quite the hollow experience, and felt that I had scored it too highly. It was definitely a one hit wonder for me, and had no rewatch value. However, it was crafted well. As for The Conjuring 2? Unimaginative title and a terrible film all around – and not a good sequel, as so many have lauded it. This is not a good example of a sequel done right, in my opinion. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are good, but come across as limited due to the script. The script also tried to force emotion into it in places, and it fell flat and was terribly awkward. Let’s talk about how heavy handed and over the top this movie was. I mean seriously folks. There was no time to get freaked out or vested in what was happening because there was no grace, no elegance, no mystery, no finesse. It was just in your face, no subtlety, and felt like you were being force fed this horror. There was potential when The Crooked Man came to life – instead of scaring the socks off of me (as he rightfully should have), he was this terribly animated character that looked beyond stupid. Ugh. Let’s not forget how conveniently everything worked out for the Warrens – yes, it just so happened to be the same thing that they picked up in the Amityville house, all the way out in England? Puh-lease. I have no time for this movie, and cannot believe I had been looking forward to it for another solid horror. It didn’t deliver on any front, and was certainly a massive waste of my time. Ugh.

JB & The Chop Do: Saw (2004)

51

JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Folks! WE ARE BACK! I am so excited to announce the latest in our “JB & The Chop Present” series! Eric of The IPC and myself love to tackle some franchises (and some are certainly superior to others), and the Chop thought it was about time we took on the Saw movies, and so here we are. We do hope that you enjoy our latest offering, and we do hope that we survive this run! Although, whatever this franchise brings, I am sure that, unlike the Amityville movies, it will not terrorize my soul for all of eternity.

saw poster

SYNOPSIS: Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer. – via IMDB

jb saw

Who the hell knew, back in the day, that when Saw was released, a tiny budget horror, that it would evolve into a massive horror franchise? I sure as hell don’t think either Wan of Whannell thought it was going to go down the way it did. And just look at the success it (unthinkably) garnered!

I remember when Saw came out, it was a right big deal because it touched on some really gruesome shit and had a small budget. Saw works in the sense that, for such a small budget film, it looks good, the areas/sets are mostly contained, and the movie essentially plays out in a deserted, creepy bathroom and a few other select sets, and still it manages to keep you engaged. It was also different that there was more story attempt than your average film of the torture porn variety. Then again, if we are being serious, it wasn’t until subsequent movies that the franchise became all about that.

saw bear trap

I have no idea what the heck happened to Elwes. I think everyone looks at him and thinks of The Princess Bride. He was in fine form there – sassy, young, cute. Here? Eish. Not so good, man. There was definitely an issue with overacting here. The dialogue, while stinted at times, was not as bad as usual for a horror, though the acting makes it cringey more often than not. Okay, it cannot be denied that there is a lot of weird, inexplicable things going down in this movie. One of the biggest things? I will never really understand why Jigsaw is running around in a fucking silk boxing robe (for reals), it was something that really got to me.

Danny Glover was relatively underused here, considering the movie is more a thriller than a horror, with a mystery being systematically uncovered. I thought that it was handled quite well, having us wonder, then giving us just a touch of information, then leaving us hanging again. What was wrong with the movie though, and this cannot be overlooked, is that it was significantly longer than it needed to be, and could have been tightened up a little lot.

Danny Glover returning as a cop did amuse me, and I was wondering if he really wasn’t too old for this shit, but his character was one that I enjoyed, and one I could understand going off the deep end, what he went through and witnessed was pretty crazy.

i'm too old for this shit murtaugh

Natasha reckons this review should just read:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! Blood, blood, blood.

I thought I would add this here just for her:

saw foot

She is still in shock that I would even watch this whole franchise. No, blood, guts, and gore are totally not her forté. Lol.

saw collage

The plot twist at the end of the film isn’t a bad one, and certainly one that was handled quite well throughout the film, and definitely surprised most people. It is one of the stronger aspects of Saw, though it is flawed. Saw has a cult following, and all that started with this first film, which I think was really well done for the unknown duo, Wan and Whannell. For horror fans out there, I am sure that this is a movie you have all seen and (sort of) enjoyed – if not the whole thing, aspects, certainly.

But let’s be very serious here – this movie is not the most memorable. There are certain things you are going to remember, the things that shock. The rest? The reasons? It all fades away.

Anyway, one down, the rest of the torture porn dominoes to go!

chop saw

I haven’t seen this since it came out on DVD back in 2004 and the only thing I remember about are two things ones a big spoiler so I won’t mention it. The other is the thing with the foot so I’m going into this fairly blind especially since I was probably pretty stoned when I watched it. Let’s see what we’ve got.

The acting in this opening segment is pretty poor.

Ah jeez, Cary Elwes… what’s become of you??

saw1a

Elwes has a pretty shitty American accent

This Leigh Whannell guy is a TERRIBLE actor

HAHAHA!! He gave them tapes to listen to! TAPES!! I wonder if JB even knows what a tape is!!?? I remember having to re-spool those fucking things all the time…

The name of this game is to kill Adam! WHOOP!

Disgusting. Digging your hand in a shitty toilet is never ideal.

saw1b

That’s almost as gross as when Danny Glover shit on Tracey Morgan and he got it all over his face in Death at a Funeral…

saw1c

SAW SAW SAW those chains! That’s not going to work, buddy.

Elwes sure is being overly dramatic here. “He wants us to cut through our feet!”

This movie is very noisy…

This guy sure does plan out these execution games thoroughly. He must have a lot of free time….

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo – Elwes is the doctor working on Jigsaw while he is dying in the hospital? How is Jigsaw out doing these “games” if he’s dying of colon cancer in the hospital?

Ah Danny Glover… we hardly knew thee….

Elwes has a lot of lipstick on in this scene… someone should fire the make-up guy

Speaking of Elwes, my mom used to think I looked like him back during his skinny Princess Bride days and my skinny youth days…

I see we have an escapee from the Jigsaw Killer! Get it girl!

OOO – and our first look at his mask. Nice fucking bow tie. Jerk!

This lady is doing some good eye acting.

saw1d

Did I mention this is REALLY FUCKING NOISY??

Is he riding a…………. tricycle?? That’s not very sinister…

As I pause for lunch, I notice I still have over an hour left…

So wait – knowing what I know – they just discovered the two way mirror and they cut to a guy watching a video feed of them in the bathroom. He waves and sings “I see you”… are they hinting this is Jigsaw?? Spoiler: we know that’s him playing dead on the floor, right?? Who the fuck is this guy??

Oh wait, Danny Glover is still alive!

Monica Potter!

saw1e

A pager!!! A pager!! Nice! Technology rules. BEEP BEEP BEEP.

You’d think that dead body in the middle of the room would be pretty stinky by now…

OK – maybe Jigsaw isn’t hospitalized and was just in for his colon check. Everyone loves fingers up their butts! Right? And cameras!

So Jigsaw has killed one guy (I guess they technically kill themselves) for trying to kill himself, one guy for being a voyeur, and tried to kill one lady because she used drugs. Very motivational.

Danny Glover and his Asian looking cop buddy may have cracked the case!

Here he is. The Big Reveal. Too bad he’s wearing a cowl so we can’t see his face.

saw1h

WHOOPS! I don’t think Glover is going to make it.

Asian Cop just shot Jigsaw! WIN!! Too bad – a booby trap takes down Asian Cop once and for all! His law enforcing days are over. WIN!

I guess Glover is going to make it after all… WIN!!

AHA – the person watching the video is NOT Jigsaw. WIN!!!

A flip phone! Cigarettes! Cryptic notes! Lame-ass voice-over!

it took until exactly 1:00:14 until something creepy finally happened. Yawnsville. And I still have 42:00:53 left to go.

Why is this movie an hour and forty five fucking minutes long?

The inaugural JB AND THE CHOP WORST FAKE DEATH EVER award goes to Leigh Whannell (ED: I agree!!!!! Jeesh!!!!!)

The inaugural JB AND THE CHOP LAME FLASH AND WHINE: OVERUSE OF A CAMERA FLASH IN A DARK SETTING TO INDUCE SCARES

This tet-a-tet in the toilet and the constant cut of flashbacks are getting old….

Wait? Where did these two random pictures come from? Have they just been there on the floor the entire time??

The mystery of how Jigsaw can be in two places at one time is solved! Zep!

saw1i

These guys aren’t very good at gunplay… FAIL!!!

Elwes isn’t very good at crying in an American accent. Jesus Christ this is embarrassing for him. This is getting to be almost as bad as Keanu Reeves in Knock Knock.

There’s a LOT of action going on as we lead up to the Big Finish.

Here we go!! Off with the foot!!

saw1j

OMG the acting here… it’s wretched……

Now he’s not even trying to mask his accent…

He’s off to get help before he bleeds to death! I wonder if he makes another appearance in this series since he survived? I wonder if he went home to his trailer for the evening, knocked back some Brandy snifters and thought, “Elwes, old cock, you did some good acting today!”

The Big Reveal!!

LOL – I thought he had colon cancer the entire time but it’s actually BRAIN CANCER! I FAIL!!

Well – the last few minutes were pretty good. I wonder if Adam will make a return?? Or will he starve to death .like the prison rat he is… Overall I think this was OK. Maybe it’s because I really watched 12 years after it came out. It wasn’t as gory or violent as I remember and it as really noisy in some parts. High Tension was a lot more ickier and I think it came out around the same time. Most of the acting was absolutely wretched. I’m still not 100% on the whole plot (spoilers):

Elwes is Jigsaw’s brain doctor. Zep is an orderly at the hospital Elwes works in. Adam is a guy who was paid by Glover to go around taking pictures of Elwes. Jigsaw is a person who likes to teach people lessons about their humanity because he is going to die of brain cancer and they don’t appreciate what they’ve got going for them. Sooooooooooo:

Jigsaw makes Zep drug and trap Elwes and Adam in a shitty toilet and: Elwes has to kill Adam ORRRRRRRRRRRRR they can cut their feet off and escape. If Elwes doesn’t kill Adam, Zep will kill Elwes’ wife and daughter. In the meantime, Jigsaw lays perfectly still on the floor for over seven hours without moving one single time, Hmmm.

I guess it’s not the worst but I’m already not sold on all of these movies. Hopefully some of them get better??

saw1k

Review: Insidious (2010)

32

insidious movie poster

“It’s not the house that is haunted. It’s your son.”
– Elise Reiner

The Lambert family moves into a new home to start fresh. Renai (Rose Byrne) and her husband, Josh (Patrick Wilson) have new plans and ideas for their lives. Renai is to work on her music more, and Josh remains a teacher at a school. They have two sons, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) and Foster (Andrew Astor), as well as a baby. The home seems to be perfect, but Renai and Josh’s relationship seems a little strained. One night after work while they are all sitting in the family room, Dalton starts screaming after having fallen off of the unstable ladder in the attic, but he seems alright, and so they think nothing further of it. However, the next day Dalton doesn’t come down for breakfast and Josh goes to investigate only to find his son inexplicably comatose.

insidious family

“I just want things to be different in this house. I just had such a bad day. I’m scared nothing is gonna change.” – Renai Lambert

The doctors cannot help him whatsoever, and soon the family has to accept that it seems that Dalton will not be waking up anytime soon, though there is nothing wrong with him. Dalton is returned home with a hospital bed and all the equipment necessary to keep him nourished and all. Renai is becoming bitter, and as bad as it is, matters are made worse when Josh starts to “work late” all the time because he cannot deal with his home situation. Renai starts hearing strange things in the house, and is worried when Foster tells her that he wants another room seeing as it freaks him out when Dalton walks around at night. A nurse is helping Renai with Dalton one day, and after she leaves Renai discovers a bloody handprint on Dalton’s sheets, confirming her suspicions of something being wrong. Everything that can start going wrong in the house does, and Josh and Renai are at opposing ends as to what to do about it.

insidious demon

“I know someone who can help, if you’re willing to ask.” – Lorraine Lambert

The answer becomes clear when they move into a new home. The house had to be evil, had to be haunted. Their newfound hope is stamped out when Rose starts hearing and seeing things that were very much the same in the previous house in the new one. Josh seems to think she is not all together, but his mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) says that Renai is not mad, she has had bad dreams and that something dark and evil has expressed his desire of wanting Dalton’s body. Dalton is violently attacked in his bedroom and Josh relents and allows his mother to call for Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), a woman who will theoretically be able to help them with whatever is going on.  She sends a team to investigate, and they establish quickly that there is a problem. Elise figures that Dalton is an exceptional astral projector that has travelled too far into another spiritual world that she calls The Further, and that he thinks he is dreaming and does not know he is no longer with his body. The malevolent spirits want the connection between his soul and body to break so that they can take hold of it and use it for evil.

insidious dalton sleeping but wanted

“I can’t have somebody coming into our home and telling us the reason our son is in a coma is because his soul has floated off somewhere in another dimension.” – Josh Lambert

Who will go to bring Dalton back? Is anyone experienced enough to save the child? What has been going on with Dalton in this spiritual world? Will he be able to hold on long enough to not have his body infested with evil? Will the family ever go back to normality? Can Dalton wake up again and continue life, or will he forever be scarred by the events he has been involved with?

A 4/10 for Insidious. I will likely be very unpopular due to this, but I intensely disliked this movie. I enjoyed Patrick Wilson, but nothing and nobody else really after that. The movie had some stuff going for it initially, but I feel that anything and everything that Wan built up to (which was flimsy at best) was completely discarded when the family moved to the new home. The music was something that worked and then didn’t, it was inconsistent. It pushed too hard to be odd, different and to set you on edge, but it went from having chilling moments to just being too loud and annoying. The decay started slowly in the new home, them the slide began and soon after it was simply an avalanche. The plot holes, the ludicrous story, the way that too many jump scares and freaky, creepy things were trying to be squeezed into far too short a time frame. I never understood why everyone hyped so much about this one. I was really looking forward to seeing something new, something fresh, something freaky again and this is all that I got. I found it boring, constricting and incredibly predictable. It was one of the biggest let downs ever. Truly not worth the watch or the hype it generated – and how that came to be is still beyond me. I gave this movie another watch because I was told that I was far too judgemental the first time that I saw it, but watching it again I actually think I like it even less.

Review: The Conjuring (2013)

24

the conjuring movie poster

“The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges on which we decide to follow.”
– Ed Warren

The Perron family buys a new home in 1971 and moves in – this is their fresh start. However, their dog Sadie does not seem to be impressed with the home, no matter that Roger (Ron Livingston) and his wife Carolyn (Lili Taylor) seem very content. They find out that there is an abandoned and boarded up basement beneath the house, and establish that they will sort it out. From the outset, though, something seems wrong. Carolyn wakes with unexplained bruises on her body and sees a doctor at Roger’s insistence, and is given pills for an iron deficiency. Day two in the home, however, there is an issue. Sadie is dead, and the five Perron daughters are quite upset by this. The clocks in the house all seem to stop at 03h07 without fail every morning.

IMG_2995.dng

“There is something horrible happening in my house.” – Carolyn Perron

Initially this does not set anything off with the family, however later it becomes evident that something is happening. Roger takes a job with his rig that takes him to Florida for a week. Alone in the house, Carolyn realizes something is dreadfully wrong. She and her children suffer dreadfully by what seems to be an incredibly vicious haunting – Carolyn falls victim to an attack in the basement. The eldest daughter, Andrea (Shanley Caswell), is once again woken by her sleepwalking sister Cindy (Mackenzie Foy). Andrea is attacked by a malevolent spirit, and Roger makes it home just in time to witness all that is wrong with the house.

conjuring warrens afraid

“We’ve been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.” – Ed Warren

Carolyn seeks out Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), desperately in need of their help. Her family is cursed or haunted, she is sure of it, and only these paranormal investigators can help. At first Ed and Lorraine are reluctant, until it is apparent that Carolyn is desperate, and they make a turn past the house. Lorraine is a gifted clairvoyant, and upon entering the house establishes that some evil has attached itself to the family. The Warrens explain to the Perrons that the only way the Catholic Church will sanction an exorcism of the house is through an investigation so that proof can be presented.

the conjuring warrens and perrons

“You have a lot of spirits in here, but there is one I’m most worried about because it is so hateful.” – Lorraine Warren

Soon Ed and Lorraine are in full swing, digging up the history of the property and previous owners as well as other odd occurrences around the area. Ed is worried about his wife, who was very badly affected in an exorcism a few months ago. She loses a part of herself every time she works these cases. Though he is glad to have her with him, he is also afraid he will lose her due to the line of work. The Perrons need help, and when Ed and Lorraine call in their assistants to help check out the house, things seriously go wrong.

The Conjuring lorraine warren

“When the music stops, you’ll see him in the mirror standing behind you.” – April Perron

Will the Warrens be able to cleanse the house for the Perrons? What exactly has caused such a black stain on the house, and how will they be able to defeat it? Will the children ever be alright again after all is said and done? Will Lorraine be able to survive another ordeal like the faulted exorcism months before, and will Ed be able to deal with it if anything does happen?

The Conjuring scores a solid 8/10. This is what you want from a horror. It was well directed, it looked good, the actors were great for what they did and the effects were good. The way everything looked was creepy, too. I enjoyed the progression of the story telling, not too fast and not too slow. It was paced enough to really get under your skin and make it crawl. The film keeps you hooked from the very off, and that is something that rarely happens with a horror flick. I was watching so intently, and everything seemed to just work. I was far more impressed that I expected to be, and I can understand now why it got such an immensely positive response – it really just was that good! This film definitely delivers bags of eerie and some scares, and the atmosphere is just plain down scary at the best of times and the presentation was simply spine-chilling. I enjoyed every second of this movie, and it had me at the edge of teh seat from the get go. It has been an incredibly long time since any type of movie like this actually got something from me, but James Wan knew exactly what he was doing with this, and implemented it so well. Vera Farmiga really is a talented actress. She was absolutely great as Lorraine Warren, giving the character plenty of weight. This would definitely be the film to freak out those that scare easily and have weak stomachs, so just bear that in mind, though it is well worth the watch.