10 Trivia Facts About The Conjuring 2 (2016) – We Bet You Don’t Know Them All!

James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 did well in theaters and with critics, and it’s finally available for rental!  There are no major spoilers here, just some fun trivia that we would be surprised if you had heard all about before now.

  1.  Javier Botet played “The Crooked Man”. Search “Javier Botet” in the content for this site and you’ll come up with a hell of a lot a pieces he’s tagged in. Mr. Botet has portrayed many of the most frightening, nightmarish characters in the last ten years of cinema, including “the Medeiros Girl” in the fucking terrifying climax of [REC] (2007) and two other movies in the same franchise, the titular character of Mama (2013), who can kill you just by showing up, and the horrifying ghostly female apparitions featured in the only scary scenes in Crimson Peak (2015), among others. He is 6 ft 7 and weighs about 110 lbs, and he is also double-jointed.  If you didn’t know Mr. Botet’s work well, you would think that the Crooked Man apparition in The Conjuring 2 was created by using CGI animation …but you would be wrong.
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Guess who?

2/3. See that featured image up at the top of this piece? Notice the letters on the bookshelves? V-A-L-A-K. Also, check out the colorful letters on the window below…

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4. Lily Taylor blew her voice out from screaming during filming of the first Conjuring. Vera Farmiga did her one better and blew out a damned lymph node from screaming (multiple takes were needed, which made it worse) filming her role as Elizabeth Warren during The Conjuring 2. Jesus! Ouch! [source: IMDB]

 

5. Did you know that to promote the DVD/Blu-ray release, the studio put out a trailer that consists of the original trailer backwards, and it is somehow even creepier that way? You can watch it right here (EW.com made it an exclusive, so no insert)… and (hint) listen.

 

6. Speaking of very scary voices, the actual recording of the possessed Janet Hodgson is played over the end credits. The dialogue in the movie follows the recording closely. If you are feeling brave and the lights are on, you can listen to it below (this recording goes for a full twelve minutes, unlike the condensed version played in The Conjuring 2). Regardless of your level of skepticism, does THIS sound like an 11-year old girl to you? The working class Hodgson family did not exactly have access to sophisticated voice-altering technology. Today it could be easily be faked …but not back in 1977. Listeners beware, however; this made the hair on our bodies stand on end.

 

7. You probably spotted Annabelle (you don’t forget that thing’s face) in her glass cabinet, along with the music box from The Conjuring in the Warren’s museum,  but did you see the black and white painting hanging in the Warren’s office?

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It’s the house from The Conjuring, along with that very distinctive tree. Minus Bathsheba’s shadow hanging from the tree, it looks very close to the image on the theatrical poster.

8.  Here’s an extremely creepy one. During the Amityville séance cold-open, Elizabeth Warren is terrorized by (among other things) a demonic-looking little boy whose eyes glow a white-silver. Director James Wan was inspired by the following notorious photo claiming to show the youngest victim of the DeFeo massacre (copyright: Paranormal Guide), AKA the “Amityville Ghost Boy”.

 

9. There is yet another image where you can pick out the demon Valak’s name. This one, you need to be looking for (thank you, IMDB trivia section, for telling us the time mark in the movie). You can see the “V” in the “love” plaque, and the rest…

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How did THAT get there?

10. Finally, we are pretty sure this is just PR from the movie studio to promote the home video release of The Conjuring 2, though warning potential viewers of possible unexplained, dangerous paranormal activity directly caused by watching a copy might not be the best media strategy. Here are alleged scary incidents pointing to some kind of “visual curse” that is the result of watching…

 

Oh, GIMME A FREAKIN’ BREAK! Stupidest thing we ever heard, pffffft! We rented the movie on VOD and watched it Saturday night, and we’re fine! Calling bullshit on this one, because… because… what was that noise?

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Making INNSMOUTH

Whether you’re a Joshua Hoffine fan or not (though I can think of no good reason why any horror fan would not dig him), and whether you’re a Lovecraft fan or not, you owe it to yourself to check out the artist’s blog post on his latest piece–hell, we can’t think of a reason not to call it a masterpiece– titled INNSMOUTH. The creation boasts the absolutely stellar work of J. Anthony Kosar and his talented team at Kosart Studios; just when I think their effects/prosthetic work cannot get any better, it does. Hoffine was also able to get Doug Jones to star in the piece (no, not as an eerily thin creature of some kind) as the hero. Mr. Hoffine’s talent, paired with the top-tier dedication to putting the most care, concern, and craftsmanship into his creations possible into every detail, is well on display here. He even takes you step-by-step through his entire process (with lots of great behind-the-scenes photos and backstory). The attribute of his art that shines through, however, that puts him on a level with the best horror artists among, say, Bernie Wrightson, is his true love of and devotion to the horror genre. True horror fans can see and feel the heart (no pun intended) and soul of a kindred horror fan as soon as you lay eyes on his art …and that’s not common to find, these days. Enjoy!

Joshua Hoffine | Behind The Scenes

Hi kiddies!

This is my new photograph called INNSMOUTH.  This image is based on the story Shadow Over Innsmouth by legendary Horror author H.P. Lovecraft. This photograph stars actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) as the victim and features Special FX from frequent collaborator and Face/Off champion J. Anthony Kosar and his talented team at Kosart Studios.

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In the 1931 story Shadow Over Innsmouth, the human victim is chased through the streets of the seaside town of Innsmouth by a teeming mob of monstrous fish people called the Deep Ones. The imagery of a sole individual being pursued by a city full of monsters is similar to Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I Am Legend, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in Shadow Over Innsmouth.  As with my previous zombie photograph LAST STAND, INNSMOUTH is populated by a horde of monsters…

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Hemlock Grove Season 2 – Behind The Scenes Featurette (Plus Gallery) Reveals Tons of Gory Practical Effects

“If you ever come back here again, it won’t be your tongue I rip out, it’ll be your lungs.”

We were hoping to post another breakdown of how the practical effects for another grisly werewolf transformation were done (hopefully by Greg Nicotero again), since the season 2 premiere featured another great one. Maybe Netflix will add one to their You Tube channel (we’ll keep our eyes, well, peeled) but in the meantime, there’s a great behind-the-scenes featurette that shows more gore than the red band trailer we posted before. Check it out below – this season is sick! We’re only halfway through and can confirm it might even be more twisted than Season 1…

…and of course,  we’d be remiss not to put up a screencap gallery (click on an image to enlarge, but warning, at least one of the scenes these depict made us wince and curl our toes when watching the episode):

So far, this season is less of a slow burn than season one (sticking to ten episodes was a smart idea). You can check out all ten episodes on Netflix any time, because they all premiered today.

“It’s just fucked up, is what it is!” – Olivia, Season 2 of Hemlock Grove

 

Making MONSTER PROM – Check Out Joshua Hoffine’s Latest Groovy Photo Project

One our favorite photographers (and possibly out favorite horror photographer) Josh Hoffine worked on a really fun new project last month — and the results are, as always, amazing. Check out all the photos, including behind-the-scenes work and “prom photos”; in some of the latter you have to look a little harder than others to look for the tip-off as to what makes the prom-goer not quite human (hint: hands and feet). Now we’re off to look into his first short film, “Black Lullaby” …or maybe we’ll wait till it’s light out.

Joshua Hoffine | Behind The Scenes

Hi kiddies!  This is my new project MONSTER PROM.

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This project was a commission from Sony UK utilizing their new full-frame Sony A7 camera.  I re-imagined iconic monsters Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman as teenagers posing for their Prom photos.

Virtually all Americans are familiar with the classic Prom photo.  We’ve all seen them, and most of us have even posed for them.  I love Prom photos.  Nothing captures the quintessential awkwardness of adolescence like the Prom photo.  It is the final game of dress-up before entering the adult world.

Monsters are the perennial outsider.  Did any of us ever feel more like monsters than we did as teenagers?  Bodies changing beyond our control, sprouting hair, developing acne, braces, bad haircuts.  The self-consciousness of adolescence comes with the realization that the villagers could turn on you at any moment.

There is a long-standing tradition of teenage monsters in the Horror genre…

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Watch This REALLY Cool Sleepy Hollow (1999) Clip To Celebrate Johnny Depp’s Birthday

We were lucky to see this in the theater opening night. One of us (me) was a little too drunk to fully appreciate it, but not too drunk to scream at the top of my lungs a couple of times (once during the scene with the witch in her cave–I think that actually sobered me up some, I jumped so high). You don’t need to be a big Johnny Depp fan to appreciate this clip… just of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow–especially the Disney version, which Tim Burton said this dream sequence was a specific homage to. I sure as hell appreciate the movie now!

The  word ‘iconic’ has been almost sickeningly over-used in the last few years, especially in reference to TV and movie scenes (especially irritating to me as a writer and a movie geek when it’s something recent and not really earned iconic status yet). As in, Yes, here we have a tribute to the iconic scene in The Devil Inside where she pulls down her lower lip to reveal the upside-down cross carved into her— SHUT UP! STOP THAT! However, Ichabod Crane, the covered bridge, the flaming pumpkin… that one of the coolest fucking images I’ve carried in my memory since I watched the movie on Halloween in grade school, when they still aired it on Halloween. Scared the crap out of me and any of my friends I was watching with. Sometimes we cringed and peeked through our fingers, because we all knew it was coming…

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OK, back to Johnny Depp. I recall when I read the screenplay online in 1999, knowing Depp was cast, thinking there were better choices to play Ichabod Crane, but oh well. However, he totally won me over. Below is a montage someone made of the comic relief moments in this rather dark (but really entertaining;, basically, Depp’s version of Crane fainting, being scared of spiders… actually, he makes him seem like a pussy but honestly, I wouldn’t even be brave enough to stay in town after the first creepy thing he saw.  Would you want to stick around Sleepy Hollow?

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Check it out below, it’ll brighten your Monday:

 

Though I wish she’d left in the horror-movie version of the witch going ‘Large Marge’ on Depp, after the big jump scare, it was hilarious. As I recall, they showed his terrified reaction, then cut to the outside of the cave and him briskly walking out of the cave, announcing, “We are leaving!” “What?” “We are leaving now!” I do recall that moment got the biggest laugh of the movie when we saw it.

WE ARE LEAVING.

WE ARE LEAVING.

 

 

La Llorona Halloween Attraction – Damn, Haunted Houses Sure Have Stepped It Up Since We Were Kids!

Apart from a few exceptions (which are vivid enough memories and such unique experiences they deserve their own post) the last I remember of going to local haunted houses, usually sponsored by a local rock radio station, you would get shuffled through a maze and some people with creepy make-up/costumes would come springing around a corner, go RAAAAWWR! or scream at you and sometimes grab you.  This is actually scary if they put some care and showmanship into it, which they did much of the time.

But this, this horrifying shit, takes it to a whole new level. I realize that this is Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights (this was taped in 2012, if they still have the attraction when we can afford an actual vacation in a couple of years, we are going, paying extra for some VIP pass if we can) and they have unlimited money and talent. Well okay, not unlimited, but the budget allows for a lot more. Not just actors, but animatronics. BIG ones.

But let’s get to the back-story of La Llorona (which translates as ‘The Weeping Woman’). I love that they based it on not just a folktale/legend, but a Latino one, and a simple one at that. No elaborate, intricate back-story, just the right amount of the basics to let your imaginations fill in the blanks. This attraction would be scary as hell without the legend, now that I think of it, but they fill you in on the basic version while you’re waiting in line or entering the maze.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Here’s their version, and here’s a link to the Wikipedia page to read more. I am sincerely glad I did not hear the legend of La Llarona when I was a little girl, and already had my nightmares full of stories about licked hands, dead boyfriends with signs around their necks saying YOU SHOULD HAVE OPENED THE DOOR, and hooks dangling from car doors, among many others. I didn’t need this on top of the huge terrifying library of urban legends (mostly told to me by friends at slumber parties) that were stored neatly away in my head, where they stay to this day

“Immerse yourself in the horrific tale that has tainted the dreams of children for centuries, with new twists and turns, spawning countless excruciating nightmares.

Succumb to the bloodcurdling screams of Maria, a mother tortured by the guilt of drowning her children, forced to suffer for an eternity as she wanders the Earth hunting for the souls of her children. Beware, for those who hear her weeping are marked for death!

If you think you know how it ends, you’re dead wrong!”

Well, they got THAT shit right.

I watched several taped versions and this one was the best quality (for night vision).  I hope to GOD there’s an age restriction on this. Fortunately I didn’t see anyone that looked under 18 going through the ‘maze’. Universal Studios calls it a maze –I know they have to classify all the attractions– but it looks more like a very frightening walk-through of a series of increasingly disturbing locations, including a fly blown butcher’s shop and a bridge over a body of water with the drowned corpses of children floating in it face down, and that blood-curdling bedroom with the first giant La Llorona creature – look at how long those horrible spindly arms and fingers/claws are, almost big enough to pick up the bed.

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Check out the detail in the set dressing, like the very small children’s dresses hung on the wall.

If you’re curious, there’s a version in Universal Studios Florida where they took a different approach and used only (I think) live talent. You can see it below (it’s also terrifying), and there are some pretty frightening images, especially when they use the strobe light effect. The sound effects are especially haunting.

However, sorry, those giant animatronic creatures (bigger than you are, in some cases), are just complete show-stoppers for me… not that it’s a contest, they’re both effective.

There’s also behind the scenes daylight walk-throughs with the head of the production team for this attraction on You tube (Sharp Productions has a really great YT channel), and those things STILL look scary as hell. I didn’t watch more than a couple of minutes because I didn’t want to spoil the illusion. The sun is currently up, though; after it gets dark tonight,  I may change my mind.

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Here’s the short version of the Wikipedia entry of the legend. The page linked to also mentions that “Parents often use this story to prevent their children from wandering out at night.”  Hell, they probably don’t want to wander out from under the bedcovers after their parents tell them this is a true story:

Although several variations exist, the basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in order to be with the man that she loved. The man would not have her, which devastated her. She would not take no for an answer, so she drowned herself in a river in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of Heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. Maria is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name “La Llorona.” She is trapped in between the living world and the spirit world.  Often it is said that if you lock the doors to a room with a mirror, light red candles and say her name a couple of times in front of the mirror, you may see her. [Ed: that’s okay, we’ll take your word for it]

In some versions of this tale and legend, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who resemble her missing children, or children who disobey their parents. People who claim to have seen her say she appears at night or in the late evenings from rivers or lakes in Mexico. Some believe that those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death… She is said to cry, “ay mis hijos!” “oh my children!”

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NEW: See First Full-Length HD Trailer For “The Green Inferno” – Fear Will Consume You!

Our personal favorite blurb used in this trailer is the one from Fangoria – WILL LEAVE VIEWERS STUMBLING OUT OF THE THEATER.* Now we really want to hunt down that review. But first…

Here’s the new trailer, which shows the set-up, then things going horribly wrong beginning with the plane crash (looks like there are about seven survivors out of twenty, tops), then waking up to find themselves with hands tied or in a cage, surrounded by bloodthirsty cannibals. There’s not a bunch of blood, mostly horrified reaction shots… and you do NOT want to know what that hook-claw on a stick wielded by what appears to be the tribe’s medicine woman with the elaborately painted face and extreme nose-piercing is for. Especially if you’re female. Here’s the first full-length trailer in HD, which hit the web yesterday:

This is why we (personally, that is–you want to wade around in the Amazon rainforest, be our guest, you’re braver than us) will stick to donating/signing petitions for causes we believe in from the comfort of our home, rather than actually flying there as an activist.

Here’s a bunch of screencaps; though many of them are horrified reaction shots from the characters watching… oh, let me take a wild guess… their friends being sliced up/pulled apart and eaten right in front of them. Hey, at least they have their yellow protective suits still on! Because THAT’S going to do them a lot of good. Click on any image in the mosaic for a larger version (and possibly a smart-ass caption).

We also love how the trailer starts off the first thirty seconds looking like it’s going to be a film about students trying to save the rainforest. C’mon, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

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*Though we love hearing NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU in advertisements for messed-up movies, I guess they aren’t addressing our staff here at Horror Boom. STUMBLING OUT OF THE THEATER, now that’s actually possible.

Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno: See The First Official Trailer (And Official Release Date) Right Here In HD!

I am sorry to report that this is a “green band” trailer; and also it appears the movie has been trimmed down enough for an R-Rating (though knowing Roth, he’s not going to let all that Nicotero practical FX work go to waste and we’ll get an unrated version on DVD).  Check out the promising first official trailer below in glorious HD:

We have a bad feeling that some of the footage shown (you can probably figure out what) is from a female circumcision* scene that fortunately does not go all the way. First time I’ve appreciated an Eli Roth film NOT showing something.

Plus…

THE Official Release Date for The Green Inferno is:

September 5th, 2014!

Which is still too goddamned long to wait! Well, hey, we’ve been waiting over a year, might as well wait a few more months. Damnit!

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*AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGH! In a Women Studies class in college, they showed us all actual film footage of one, performed with a BROKEN BOTTLE, that scarred me (and probably everyone else there who hadn’t seen it before) for life. A few people bolted out of the auditorium, including one of the few guys in the class. My brain also protected me by deciding to black out the last half of the footage from my memory, but trust me, it was bad enough.

‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge’: Get a first look at innovative new Syfy series — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (EW.com)

THIS has some serious potential! Click “View Original” on the bottom left of the article to watch the two fun promos.  When I’m one the fence about seeing a scary movie, and I see people credited with “Creature Effects”, that decides it for me. Read on…

‘Zombeavers’ director Jordan Rubin on his dammed horror-comedy — EXCLUSIVE NSFW IMAGES (EW.com)

OK, I’m not saying this doesn’t look ridiculous, but it also doesn’t look half-bad. I’d rather watch prosthetic creature effects over half-ass CGI anyway. Plus, Bill Burr is in it, and he usually doesn’t sign on to act in shitty movies (or TV series – case in point, Breaking Bad) and he’s also funny as hell. Check out the photos (at least one is really gory; I almost used it as the ‘featured image’ but chickened out at the last second) and the trailer. Director Jordan Rubin also digs 80s horror and says in the EW.com article that “I would say it’s a horror movie in the traditional, ‘80s-sense… it’s played completely straight in the face of the ludicrous conceit, which is obviously complete insanity.” So far, so good. (Click on “View Original” to check out all the gory pics and the fun trailer)