The Conjuring 3

Vampire Owl: We have missed The Conjuring series so much.

Vampire Bat: Yes, La Llorna, Nun and Annabelle couldn’t serve enough.

Vampire Owl: Well, the original will always rise above the spinoffs.

Vampire Bat: Most of the time, I would agree to the same.

Vampire Owl: You are trying to focus on the possible exceptions for too long.

Vampire Bat: We have to look at the exceptions too, as they are also present.

Vampire Owl: I would focus on the righteous horror that this franchise brings.

Vampire Bat: Yes, that will remain our primary focus at all times.

Vampire Owl: I also suggest the use of one vampire character in the franchise.

Vampire Bat: I am pretty sure that won’t be need, with so many demons and ghosts wandering around in this particular universe.

[Gets a vegetable cutlet and three glasses of chocolate shake].

What is the movie about? :: In the year 1981, the expert demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are documenting the exorcism of 8-year-old David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), with his family being present there. His sister Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook), her boyfriend Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), and Father Gordon (Steve Coulter) are the others present there, as the process unfold in Brookfield, Connecticut. During the process of exorcism, Arne calls the demon a coward and asks it to enter his body instead of David’s. Despite being warned not to talk to it, he has the demon interested here with his talks. Ed sees that the demon transport itself from David’s body to Arne’s, but suffers a heart attack due to the violent demonic attack, and is taken to the hospital. This particular exorcism was meant to end months of torment of David, but for Arne, it was just the beginning of a long period of torture. Arne and Sarah seem to be having perfect life, but not everything is that perfect with them. The two are in love, and Arne is close to proposing, but their life is no longer about just that and work.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Ed takes about a month to wake up, and it turns out that only he saw that the demon entered the body of Arnie. Then the first ever murder in 193 years history of that town occurs, as Arnie murders the landlord of the apartments with 22 stabs. Lorraine does call the police, but the cops arrive there late, and can only find Arnie covered in the blood of the victim, and holding the murder weapon that belonged to him, with his fingerprints all over it. The lawyer doesn’t think that there is any hope for Arnie to escape in the name of demonic possession, but she is convinced by the Warrens. Still, fighting the first American murder trial to defend using demonic possession, the Warrens are not sure where the demon has now gone. There is no trace of any such demon on Arnie, as he is able to read from the Holy Bible and use the Holy Cross without any difficulty. This means that there is the need to be find the source of all these which started with one child’s possession. What all secrets do that hold? Are they good enough to save Arnie from death sentence?

The defence of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It :: With the initial plans on exorcism, we know that the movie is really serious here, as it gets into action very soon – it is as if the demons cannot wait, and we also get into that horror mood with it, as we are led with the fine beginning. The demon is about seriousness from the beginning itself. There are the secrets to be discovered about an occult, and the effective use of darkness, sound effects and quick scares continue to be present as any other film of the genre would possess too. There is some deviation from the usual demons which are seen around, and some fine visual treats are arranged not just with the locations of the time, but also with the use of lighting in the darkness. The footsteps in the darkness and the effective music nicely play part in this one. The case that the film deals with, is also interesting in its own way, and one would have to keep thinking about the possibilities of such a thing happening, even though evil humans are always possible of a lot of things. What would happen when an evil human is possessed by an evil spirit?

Positive and negatives :: We are already a little too much familiar with this world of The Conjuring, and we see things which have been used many times before with the franchise, as well as the spin-offs – the demons are not really the strangers that we knew them to be. The demons should surely have required an update, after all these years, it is only appropriate for them to get their own upgrades at least with science and technology developing. You can see many possibilities here, and some of them are lost, even though the basic elements of the franchise do remain similar in nature. We have all been fond of these portrayal of evil spirits, and there is no real harm in asking for more every time. Well, the demons deliver better than humans, that is for sure, and the same is ascertained by the end of the film, as promises are better kept by the forces from the other world. The ending could have been a spectacle though, and this one came so close to it in moments, but the film doesn’t become that grand a thing with its final scenes.

Performers of the soul :: Patrick Wilson is someone whom we have seen on many occasions on the big screen, unlike the other actors and actresses who have consistently acted in horror films. Insidious has already seen him in there as part of the other successful horror franchise, and he has been the villain in Aquaman, but nothing to remember him like his role in this particular franchise. He continues to do what he has been doing the best here too. He seems to have seen more superpowers and supernatural in his work in Hollywood than anybody else, and we can be sure that more is to come from this franchise for him. Vera Farmiga surely has more work to do as far as the unveiling the mysteries of this particular paranormal investigation is concerned, and she continues her work as she was doing in the earlier parts of the franchise. Sarah Catherine Hook plays the loving and supportive girlfriend in an appreciable manner – the kind of lover who never gives up against any adversity, as sweet as you can get. Ruairi O’Connor plays the possessed with a certain amount of skill too, while Eugenie Bondurant is as pure evil as you can get here.

How it finishes :: When you have another film from The Conjuring franchise, you just get ready to watch it without thinking twice, and I am sure that most of us did the same, and have landed on this particular flick. We are all fans of that one great franchise which has found no parallels, especially with more and more spin-offs added to it, all of which having the scope to develop as separate tales of demons. It might seem that people are losing their fears for demons due to the rise in the number of demon-like humans who have infected our world with lies and hatred, not holding back in cheating people or taking a life. Then there is also the Corona virus which has shaken some people’s faith in God as well as the fear of Devil. But we just cannot ignore the presence of the supernatural, at least in the movies, for the presence of evil is always there, and it is always feels better to blame it on something else, when humanity itself is the biggest representation of the demons. After all, our trust on humans can only be as much as our trust on demons.

Release date: 15th December 2021 (Amazon); 13th August 2021 (India)
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, Eugenie Bondurant, John Noble, Snannon Kook, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Keith Arthur Bolden, Keith Arthur, Vince Pisani, Ingrid Bisu, Andrea Andrade, Ashley LeConte Campbell, Sterling, Jerins, Paul Wilson, Charlene Amoia, Davis Osborne, Mark Rowe, Stella Doyle, Jay Peterson

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Hunt

Vampire Owl: The vampires haven’t been into the hunt much these days.

Vampire Bat: Well, only the werewolves hunt now, as we have outlawed the same.

Vampire Owl: The law hasn’t really been officially passed yet.

Vampire Bat: There is nothing official about the laws these days.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that the bats no longer hunt either.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it has been brought to a halt with the spread of COVID-19.

Vampire Owl: You mean to say that we are also afraid of viruses now.

Vampire Bat: Yes, only the ones passed on by humans, not the one’s from bats.

Vampire Owl: I am pretty sure that the humans created their own viruses.

Vampire Bat: They have been doing everything harmful to their own people and planet, which is why we should close the connection portal with their world forever.

[Gets a vancho cake and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie about? :: Athena Stone (Hilary Swank) is going through a group text about something grand which is supposed to happen soon, and it is referred to as “the hunt”, even though they had agreed not to text about it. Everyone in the group seems to be excited about it, but won’t talk about this one particular thing. Later, another one of the texters is on an airplane, and they find a man coming out of nowhere, and everyone in the flight panics, saying that he was not supposed to wake up so early. He is then attacked, and after losing a lot of blood and an eye, he is thrown back to an area where others are also kept sedated. Soon, eleven people wake up gagged in a forest. They find a large wooden box in the middle of an open area with weapons and the keys. Soon, some people start shooting at them, and as some of them die too soon, the others are supposed to try and survive this event of being hunted with advanced weapons by strangers.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Three captives somehow manage to escape over a barbed-wire fence to what seems to be part of normal civilization. They get into a service station, only to find out that it is run by people who are part of the hunt, and after poisoning the first person who tries to have food from there, this particular elderly people gets rid of others with guns and grenades. The couple enjoys the killings, and calling themselves elite, hopes to get rid of these people who were kidnapped and put in there. The next one to arrive is an army veteran, Crystal Creasey (Betty Gilpin) who has a conversation with the couple, finds out that they are lying about almost everything, and that they are all part of the plan. She also finds out that despite what they are trying to make them believe, they are not in the American state of Arkansas, but in Croatia, and there are traps set everywhere to make sure that they die, even if they are not taken out by attackers.

And what else is to follow with this strange hunt? :: Everything seems to go deeper than what is seen on the outside. Then, she comes up against another survivor, Gary (Ethan Suplee) who has a grand theory related to all of these, with some rich liberals trying to hunt the commoners for entertainment. He is very much focused on the same, but Crystal is not bothered about the same, and is focused only on surviving, as this does reminds her of some of her past. They also get in a train, and it also has some refugees – they find out that one of those refugees is a crisis actor, and others are real refugees. Gary ends up blowing him up with a grenade and is later killed. At the same time, Crystal ends up with the soldiers who don’t know what is going on, and she meets Don (Wayne Duvall) from the original eleven who was repeating the story which she was also narrating. But the soldiers do have problems believing them, and they understand that there might be hunters in between real people. Can they escape from all this trouble or meet their doom?

The defence of The Hunt :: Betty Gilpin is the biggest asset of this film, and this is the first time I am seeing her – she does make a perfect choice in an action film, maybe she will make it as a scream queen of horror consistently too, especially in slashers. The movie here is really good, and with its thrills and action sequences, continue to score throughout its run. There is a lot of action happening around here, and the fight scenes are really good, especially the final fights, not just in the manor, but also before that. The idea that the film actually makes fun of people on not just one side, for both the liberals and the right wing people are part of the humour. The film has some serious gory stuff going on at all times, but it is also a funny one along with all the action and thrills that go on. The atmosphere set for this one is nice, and there are some fine visuals to go with it. With the twists and turns in there and with expectations of the unexpected, The Hunt makes things happen, and it is efficient in doing the same.

Positives and negatives :: Hilary Swank is excellent as we already know she would be, but she is there only a few minutes. We would have expected her to stay throughout the film, but unfortunately, that is not the case, and the same is about Emma Roberts, who has almost no screen space around here, getting killed too early. The idea of using the funny side more than the darker side might not appeal to everyone either. The idea of revenge also gets a shock with the tale of the tortoise and the hare being told in a different way, with all the gore that is a feature of this film. There are many shades being explored in this film, and the way the leading character tells that tale, is nothing less than amazing in a very creepy manner. There seems to be many different messages that run through the film, and it also provides us with the choice to take any among them. The journey here is great, and we only wish that it didn’t end in an hour and half which is too less for this film, and it surely requires a sequel that explores similar elements again.

How it finishes :: The film also has references to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and it has some fine dialogues, both monologues and one-liners which we can remember. There are so many creepy moments in here, and with its twists and turns, as well as the action, it has us interested in every second of its short, one and half hours run. In the beginning, you might feel that this could be like The Hunger Games and the German film, Breakdown Forest – yet, very soon, you will know that this is entirely different, and the innovation that it uses to skip away from the usual stuff also needs to be appreciated. The Hunt knows what it is doing, and with its realization of the possibilities of the same, a seemingly usual kind of premise is developed into something divergent, with class. With a lady lead that suits perfectly in here, there is a lot more to this film than what is seen in the trailer. If this was not affected by the first wave of pandemic, there was scope for more popularity, for sure.

Release date: 13th March 2020
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Craig Zobel
Starring: Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Berry, Amy Madigan, Kate Nowlin, Reed Birney, Glenn Howerton, Sylvia Grace, Justin Hartley, Jason Kirkpatrick, Walker Babington, Macon Blair, Teri Wyble, Usman Ally, JC MacKenzie, Steve Coulter, Dean West, Vince Pisani, Steve Mokate, Hannah Alline, Tadasay Young, Jim Klock

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*** This is not to be confused with Haunt.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.