Warning: This post will contain The Conjuring 2 spoilers.
Jaems Wan’s The Conjuring 2 is one of the most successfully terrifying mainstream horror films to come along since, well, maybe the first Conjuring. While basically all of that credit goes to Wan’s masterful work with the camera and setting atmosphere as well, a large majority of that terror comes from the film’s strange and memorable assortment of ghosts and presences in the film. The most terrifying and memorable belonging to the film’s main evil presence, which takes the form of a demonic nun, to challenge Lorraine’s (Vera Farmiga) faith.
However, some of the movie’s flaws arise from its story jumps and the connective tissue that pieces several important beats and plot points together, one of which being the revelation in the film’s third act that the presence haunting the Enfield home is not the old man as we had been led to believe, but the nun, whom Lorraine had first encountered in Amityville, and had later seen when it attacked her at her own home, possibly the film’s most terrifying sequence.
When you really think about the twist though, there are some problematic questions that can arise, including how it even ended up at Enfield in the first place, if it’s real goal was to haunt Ed and Lorraine and eventually kill Ed. It just doesn’t make much sense within the confines of the story, no matter how terrifying it might be.
While recently speaking with io9 as well, director James Wan addressed the twist and explained (some) of its logic:
“Believe me, I was wondering if anyone was going to ask me that. So far I’ve managed to get away scott-free. Damn you, Germain. But I will kind of explain my reasoning behind that. When she’s at Amityville? It’s not like she’s haunted by a ghost at Amityville, she’s having a premonition of what’s going to happen to her husband in the near-future. That’s all it is. So she’s seeing what’s going to happen at the end of the movie. The demonic entity that takes on the form of a nun has got nothing to do with Amityville. At all. She’s just having a psychic premonition”
So that means that both the sequence in Amityville and at her home, aren’t attacks, but premonitions, which while I can accept that logic for the former, doesn’t make much sense for the sequence at Lorraine’s home in my mind at least, simply because of the aggressive nature in which the nun practically attacks Lorraine. Sure, it ends with the premonition of Ed’s death, but it just seems a bit too much like an attack to be shrugged off as another premonition.
If you had asked me after seeing the movie though, which character might have been added in with reshoots, I would have said the Crooked Man, but as it turns out, Wan revealed that the nun was added in later to the film:
“I had a strong outlook on the whole movie, but the one thing I wasn’t quite sure of [was the design of the demon character]. I felt like I was still discovering it. And believe it or not, I always knew that I was going to do additional photography. So I was saving it because I was hoping I’d discover what that thing would look like as I was putting the movie together in post-production.And sure enough it cements it because the other option would be to do it very CGI-heavy, and I just didn’t want that at all. From talking to [the real] Lorraine in passing, she mentioned a spectral entity that has haunted her in her house. And it’s this swirling tornado vortex with this hooded figure in there, and I remember hearing that and my first thought was, ‘Oh crap, that’s going to be a CGI character.’ I didn’t want to do that. And so, it kind of took me awhile to cement in my head what this vision was. And it came across eventually in a very organic way. Because it is a demonic vision that haunts her, that only attacks her, I wanted something that would attack her faith. Something that would threaten the safety of her husband. And so that was eventually how the idea of this very iconographic image of a holy icon cemented in my head.”
“I think it speaks to the filmmaking process. That it’s such a discovery process. Sometimes you see things, sometimes they’re discovered along the way.”
It’s interesting to learn that arguably the most terrifying aspect of The Conjuring 2, came through reshoots, which should comfort some of the fans out there that have overreacted a bit to the news of the Rogue One reshoots over the past few weeks. I still have some problems with the story of The Conjuring 2, and specifically that twist, but there’s no denying the terror that the main demon brings to the film, and the mastery with which Wan handles it all.
The Conjuring 2 is in theatres everywhere now.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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