Enfield. Not North London

Dir: James Wan

2016

 

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Let’s just start with a couple of basics right here right now. Enfield is in EN which therefore means its not in London, can I get there by tube? Is it in zones 1-4? Do they even have Uber? I think we can all agree that anything outside of zone 4 really doesn’t count as London.  And whilst I totally apreesh what James Wan is doing, and in the iconic words of Kanye West imma let him finish, Enfield is literally NOT in London.

So that’s that, and lets really just clear that up before any form of advancement is made.

NB. Sorry if you’re from Enfield and feel like I’m being unjust. It’s literally Middlesex, you can’t argue with geography.

Ok so, the story is set in Enfield MIDDLESEX, in the 70’s and it documents another one of Ed and Lorraine’s infamous cases of demons causing a lot of aggro to yet another family who literally just need a good nights sleep. Like all the other films about Ed and Lorraine, it is based on a ‘true’ story (lets say inspired by true events), so you can google the Hodgson family, and their house on Green street and even look at how much its selling for on Zoopla (I do this a lot with homes that were inhabited by serial killers or ghosts, worth knowing if affects market price). The original recordings, can be found at: Real footage from Enfield Haunting, plus there’s like a ton of shows about the house, so if you fancy weighing up how accurate Wan was, it’s all there on the fantastic world wide web for you to draw your own conclusions.

enfield

I personally don’t really care, it might have been true, yada yada yada who knows? Is anything true? Are we even here? I could get into this kind of low level existentialism all day, but that’s not really the scary part. What disturbed me more than anything were the massive fluctuations is English accents courtesy of the ‘actors’ who were chosen to play the Hodgson family. Why did the mum sound like Pat Butcher but her kids sound like the cast of Oliver? The overdone ‘cockney’ accents, combined with Billy and his biscuits were really eye rolling. I half expected a shoe shine boy to pop up and get involved. Give them one English accent for continuity as opposed to five. We know what English people sound like thanks, and don’t actually need an entire family covering all of the London boroughs under one roof.

So the film. Well the Enfield house is basically like most of the houses we grew up in in London; two up, two down, not very glam, with bad wall paper, dire need of paint and Starsky and Hutch on the walls, just a standard regular house. It wasn’t a huge mansion, or even particularly nice, which is proof that ghosts aren’t picky. One minute its Amytiville, and the next its some estate in Shadwell. Be careful out there.

Things escalate pretty damn quickly. One minute Janet is messing about with a makeshift Ouji board made out of shit she found in the art room at school and then BOOM demon from hell, in your home. Classic Janet.

enfield 2

Would’ve been great if Ed and Lorraine didn’t take their sweet time getting to Enfield. It’s literally Christmas and one whole hour into the (really unnecessarily long) film before they even say London. Meanwhile they’re dealing with their own fallout from Amytiville; Lorraine keeps seeing a Marylin Mansonesque nun in her visions, and then casually walking around her house. Doesn’t help when she wakes up one sunny morning and her husband has drawn a GIGANTIC painting of the thing on canvas ‘I just couldn’t sleep Lorraine’ he muses, ‘So i thought i’d draw what was in my dream’ oh yea….just draw the demon that traumatized your wife in Amytiville, and then proceed to HANG IT UP IN YOUR OFFICE.

demon

My favourite bit was Ed doing an Elvis impersonation and playing the guitar. If there was ever a time for the Demon to throw some mad shade, it should’ve been there and then. Whip that guitar out of his claws and club him over the head with it. Fuck you Ed, don’t come into a haunted house with your Christianity and big sideburns and patronize everyone by singing. Time and a place mate.

Despite all of the above, surprisingly enjoyed it.

And i’m sure you will.

 

 

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The Conjuring. A film thats not about zombies. Also a true story

It would have probably been a good idea to go and watch World War Z and talk about how much i hated it, because I now have such high expectations from the undead that anything outside of my comfort zone (like zombies that run), are a no-go area for me, an area filled with hate and confusion. Luckily I didn’t watch World War Z, nor is this post a rant about that. So that’s ok and we can move on.

I watched The Conjuring, which was directed by James Wan, and featured the one from The Departed that looks like Heather Mills, and that dude that played the Paedophile in Hard Candy, and then played the really hot rich guy in Girls.(FYI, to anyone who didn’t see that episode of girls, made no fucking sense). Maybe to the untrained eye this movie is your classic haunted house/hang on it’s a demon/hang on it’s a witch/hang on it wants to kill your entire family type scenario, but if you dig deep it a whole lot more. We’ve seen the formula, James Wan is not reinventing the wheel, it’s just a classic creepy film with demons and kids and a possessed doll, (but obviously a billion times better than insidious, because insidious was shit). I’m here more specifically to discuss the demonologists that are at the core of this film-Edward Warren and his wife Lorraine Warren.

ed and lorraine

This contains no spoilers, so carry on reading if you so choose.

Edward and Lorraine, self-proclaimed ‘seekers of the supernatural’ are, according to the film, the worlds leading experts in demonology and paranormal research. The main reason why I was so interested in them after i left the theatre rather than the ‘story’ is partly due to the highly refined way Wan chose to portray them in this movie. The Warrens were no con artists, oh no, they were essentially classified as ‘academics’; very rational, highly articulate, highly intelligent, always on some campus doing a slide show presentation, answering questions, being very sincere. It was all so different to what one may associate with a ‘demonologist’.

Edward Warren also states at one point in the film that he didn’t believe in vampires, which was highly reassuring.

Lets take a look at Ed and Lorraine and see who the hell they are.

FUN FACT 1) The Warrens had been in business of tracking down evil for over 40 years, and casting it away with holy water and high-tech sound equipment. I was ASTOUNDED to discover that they had previously been involved in the Amityville case (yes THE Amityville) with the Lutz family, who famously fled the house after an alleged 28 days in the property. The Warrens were called in to do a séance on live TV after the media frenzy that surrounded the house. Nothing actually came out of that particular séance but later they found a picture featuring a little boy who had not been present in the house at all. It is suspected (wait for it) that he was one of the victims that were murdered by Robert Defeo who had gone nuts one night, reached for his rifle and shot his entire family to death. This was prior to the Lutz’s moving in. Hence all the crazy shit that happened to them whilst at the house.

Allegedly Lorraine said that she hoped Amityville was ‘as close to hell’ as she would ever get.

FUN FACT 2) The Snedeker family haunting which lead to movie ‘The Haunting in Connecticut was also an investigation that the Warrens had been actively involved in. This was a particularly grim case that dealt with a mortuary run by necrophiliacs (yea told you), that then became a family home, unknown to the Snedeker family. Luckily the current owner fails to give a shit.

FUN FACT 3) The Warrens have a museum FULL of all the possessed stuff they’ve retrieved, found and worked on over the years. Yes that’s right, a WHOLE room full of satanic objects and voodoo dolls, all full of evil, in one tiny little space. You can visit the museum if you like, but you can’t touch or taunt anything. If you do, you might die. Literally. One guy famously taunted the Annabel Doll in his visit to the museum (featured in the movie), and died three hours later. Alternatively you can visit The Tate

FUN FACT 4) They have Annabel. The weird creepy rag doll, who has the ability to totally kill people. In the movie she sets the scene, creates the context, gives us an idea of the horror of inanimate objects created for children. Below is her story….oh and next time you wanna buy your kid something from the junk shop, expect bad stuff to happen. That’s why video games were invented.

Enjoy sleeping

S