The Conjuring 2 as good as The Exorcist?


I must admit, I was skeptical going into The Conjuring 2. While I enjoyed the first film, it was way overhyped. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson shine as Ed and Lorraine Warren. James Wan is clearly a master craftsman. However the story seems lacking. When all is said and done, it’s just another haunted house film. It’s nowhere near as innovative as films like It Follows or The Babadook. So with all that in mind, I entered the sequel with low expectations. I came out blown away, and elated by the delightful creepfest that is The Conjuring 2.

The film opens with the Warrens attempting to rid the Amityville house of evil spirits. Lorraine confronts the spectres in the basement. During her encounter with the ghosts, she has a vision of Ed’s death. This leads the couple to decide to stop taking cases.


At the same time in Enfield, England, a family is at the mercy of a violent entity occupying their home. It has targeted the youngest daughter, turning her life into a living nightmare. The church requests the help of the Warrens. The Warrens, unable to ignore a family in need, rush to Enfield. They soon find themselves intertwined in one of the most famous and well documented hauntings in history.


One of my favorite aspects of the film is the way it embraces the style of 70s horror. From the yellow titles, to the production design, and the plot, The Conjuring 2 is a love letter to films like The Sentinel and The Legend of Hell House. The 70s was arguably the best decade for horror films. Wan understands this and he manages to make his film feel like a product of a time gone by, rather than just an imitation.


Another thing that The Conjuring 2 has going for it, is that it’s blood-curdling to the extreme. Wan knows how to create tension. One of my favorite scenes involves the Warrens attempting to contact the ghost that is tormenting the young girl. The girl tells them that the spirit won’t speak unless they turn around. With his back to the girl, Ed begins asking the spirit questions. The creaky voice of an old man begins to speak through the girl. Now this scene could’ve been shot in a thousand different ways. Wan chose to put Ed in the foreground, and the little girl in the background out of focus. As the entity begins to speak, the girl morphs into an old man. Of course all of this is blurry, so the details are left up to the viewers to imagine.


At the center of all of this madness are Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. I’ve always found both of these actors to be quite charming. Together, their chemistry is palpable. Despite being defenders against evil, Wilson and Farmiga make the Warrens seem like normal people. Actually, they come off as kind of square. Some of my favorite moments in the movie are just the two of them talking. It’s a case of true love, if I’ve ever seen one.


Finally, I need to address the theme of the film. This is an old fashioned good vs. evil flick. If the Catholic church was smart, they would’ve invested in The Conjuring 2. I don’t particularly identify with any religion, but there’s something nice about the idea that if your faith is strong enough it can drive away even the most vile of evils. It reminds me of the old Hammer films like The Horror of Dracula. Van Helsing was only able to defeat Dracula through the strength of his convictions. Lately, films have been reflecting society’s shift away from religion. Again, I’m not opposed to this, but sometimes it’s good to see things from another perspective.

One of the reasons The Conjuring 2 has been so successful, is that it holds appeal for all audiences. It’s artsy enough for the indie horror crowd, yet straightforward enough for mainstream movie-goers. Not to mention, it’s just flat out scary as hell! I don’t think it’s going too far to say that The Conjuring 2 is The Exorcist for a new generation.

P.S. Look at the letters on the bookshelf during Vera Farmiga’s vision.

Haunt Review- Sinister Pointe Productions Presents Séance


image1(1)SPOILER WARNING! This review contains a synopsis of the haunt, Séance.

The gang here at All Hallows’ Haunts headed out to Brea, California this weekend to experience the latest adventure from Sinister Pointe Productions. (, @SinisterPointe )- Séance. Séance is a live interactive event where attendees join Medium Scott Michael, as he opens a gateway to the Other Side.scott

  • Please note that this review is based on the regular showing of Séance. The special, more intense, Witching Hour showing at midnight sold out immediately.

We arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled start time. We spent the 30 minutes looking at items in Sinister Pointe’s Curiosity shop, where they have an interesting collection of macabre items and movie memorabilia. A gentleman, clad in Gothic garb  (including a dapper top hot, flowing cloak, and walking stick), gathered us just before the séance was to start, explained the initial rules, and then took us into the room, 2 at a time. Once we were all seated, Scott Michael entered. Scott introduced himself and then had us introduce ourselves; imploring us to describe any supernatural experiences we may have had. After the introductions, he explained the rules and then began to open a door to the Other Side. After applying several tricks to summon a spirit, a connection was made. The lights went out and the ghost was in the room. We could feel the ghost and hear its unworldly speech. Ultimately, Scott Michael communicated with the spirit and then sent it away. Once the spirit was gone, we were allowed to leave.

Since we went as a group, we decided to share our review as a chat. The All Hallows’ Haunts members that attended Séance are: Lola Tarantula, Adam Neubauer, The Chris Nelson and Andy Shultz. The chat is below:


Andy- I’ll say, they did a very nice job creating an atmosphere.

Chris- I loved the atmosphere of the lobby. The smell of sage before they let us in was cool.

Lola- I thought the sage was a nice touch too. They definitely played up the whole “demonic entity” mythology well.

Adam- The whole set was great.

Andy- From the time we got into the lobby, they set the mood just right. The music, the lighting, and the guy talking to everyone about the history of séances. It was fun. I felt that room was really neat, and wanted to see more of it, but the method of taking us in two at a time had mixed results.

Chris- The chairs weren’t very comfortable though.

Lola- I wasn’t uncomfortable, Chris. There was just no reason to take us in two at a time. Also, I enjoyed that guy in the lobby, but I needed a little less of him.

Adam- I wouldn’t have minded the “two-at-a-time”, but it didn’t really seem to serve any purpose.

Chris- I think it was meant to take us out of our comfort zones, break up big groups like us.

Andy- While you guys got in first and had time to look at it, I was the last one let in and didn’t have time to look at things.

Adam- But the presentation was done well.

Andy- The table was really neat, but there wasn’t a real explanation for it.

Lola- I think we all felt the beginning was a little slow.

Andy- All the symbols were cool, but hardly talked about.

Chris- Yeah. I think an explanation of each symbols makings would have been nice.

Lola- Yeah, since they worked so hard on having all the symbols there, it would have been nice if they some how worked it into the story.

Adam- Lola, that was my biggest complaint: I wanted all of the story to be more connected. The stories seemed a bit disparate. All kind of the connecting to spirits, but that was about it.

Andy- As for Scott Michael, the medium, he did a great job introducing himself and introducing us, but it seemed a little rushed.

Lola- I’ll agree with that. He was basically putting on a play, so it seemed like one over-arching story would’ve been more effective than a few unrelated ones. I sensed that he was a tad nervous… and not because of the spirits.

Andy- Yes, I would have liked the tricks he was doing to tie into the overall séance more. He was nervous and stumbled a few times, but he recovered nicely. I also thought that once the main part of the séance started, it was a bit rushed and was too short.

Adam- The build up to actually communicating with the spirit could’ve been fleshed out more, but once we got into it, it was fun.

Chris- I think the breaking of real props was a great touch too. Having to walk out over the broken debris is a new experience.

Andy- Yes, the real props were awesome. It made for a more realistic time.

Lola- I’m not that impressed by a piece of string on my face in the dark.

Chris- Nor the water to the face. I also couldn’t tell what the spirit was saying during the blackout.

Andy- I was hoping for the lights to come back on and see the ghost or for some lighting effects.

Lola- The water to the face just reminds me of a theme park ride. I liked Adam’s idea of having ectoplasm.

Chris- There shouldn’t have been anything  happening to our faces.

Adam- It wasn’t really scary. More surprising.

Andy- Then once it was over and Scott regained control, it ended abruptly. I wanted more.

Lola- Yeah, I didn’t think it was going to be over so soon.

Chris- Also, if the act of us joining hands to was to form a barrier, I think more things should have been happening behind us.  Like a feather across the elbows, or breath on the back of my neck.

Andy- I agree, Chris.  Or someone being grabbed.

Lola- Someone did breathe on my neck. Plus, that one girl got hit by something when things were breaking.

Andy- It would have been a great opportunity to have one of the attendees be a plant in the audience, so to speak. Have one of them being possessed or disappear during the blackout.

Lola- Yeah, that would’ve been wonderful.

Chris- Yes, especially with two empty seats! They could have a plant that was with us in the lobby.

Lola- Again, we don’t know what they did during the midnight one.

Andy- There were a few missed opportunities.

Adam- Well, regardless, was what we saw worth it?

Lola- I enjoyed it, but I don’t know if I $45 enjoyed it.

Chris- I’d say so. I think it would be a great thing to take a date on.

Adam- Definitely good date night. I had a good time. Left with a souvenir. I’m excited to see the next step in the evolution of the Séance.

Andy- I think it was a lot of fun and I had a good time, but $45 is just a little high for what we got.

Chris- I do wish there was more in the gift shop too. Maybe more books?

Lola- More books would be wonderful!

Adam- It’s new. It’ll grow. It seems like Séance has been popular.

Lola- I’ll agree with that. I just would’ve like $25-$30 tickets better.

Andy- But compared to the much higher prices of some of the other haunts, it’s definitely not horrible.

Adam- No, it’s not completely out of line.

Andy- Anybody have anything else they want to add?

Lola- I liked how that guy called me Alice Cooper and said I was very darkness at the beginning.

Andy- Ultimately, I think it was a great event that I can see only getting better and better. I think for the first time doing an event like this, they did a great job. I’m excited to see what they do with it next! I highly recommend them and I’d gladly go again! I feel that they earned the AHH Seal of Approval!


Overall, we had a good time and really enjoyed it. We didn’t think it was perfect, but it was still fun and original. We are highly excited for what the future holds for Séance and we hope it continues to grow. We are also excited for the next project to come out of the mind of Sinister Pointe Productions!

There is only one weekend left for Séance and only a few tickets are still available. Visit their website at to buy tickets and to get more information on Séance and other Sinister Pointe events!