James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 is very loosely based on the real-life Enfield Poltergeist incident and I believe Wan depends on the tropes (established in his previous works, especially Insidious, and other filmmakers, namely Tobe Hooper / Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist and Richard Donner’s The Omen), far too much. The setting, plot and set pieces felt too familiar and this storyteller rarely deviates from it. As effective as he is in mastering what’s tried and true, I really hoped he would try new ideas out with this sequel.
The story is accurate in terms of revealing that the activity started when the girls started playing with an Ouija board. When you start communicating with ghosts with this device, they will want to talk back. Unless the proper precautions and sign-offs are used, they will stay until heard! The production team probably only went as far as looking at the Wikipedia entry on this case to add to the tale. While Wan’s production team said they talked to all the people involved in the case, not every incident was used or made important in this film.
Felix Silla worked more as an extra and stunt performer than as a actor. Eventually, the parts where he had speaking roles did slowly trickle in. T
When the credits roll at the end of a favourite movie or a much loved television program from the late 60’s to early 80’s, don’t blink otherwise the name Felix Silla may get missed. This stunt performer and actor has been in many productions since finding his way into the scene back in 1963. There were not many folks of his small stature who found regular work in the entertainment industry, and he can be counted as one of the few who stuck it out until his decision in 1995 to retire.
In what he experienced in this business, a lot can be said about how little people were treated. Ever since The Wizard of Oz, treatment of these individuals as extras and bit players in productions were not nice. Good or bad, what he experienced can make for a great memoir that looks at an industry that was constantly changing with the times. Before he became a recognized name, he was a performer for Ringling Bros. When he grew tired of touring, he went to work with a company that did publicity for the circus in Los Angeles in the early 60’s. He recalled that one day, a gentleman from MGM visited the office and said that they’re looking for little people to do some work. He suggested that Silla should go down to see what can happen.
Even poltergeists have trouble vying for attention these days. We’re not talking about how the ‘remake’ compares to the original Steven Speilberg produced and Tobe Hooper directed film but instead, the Enfield haunting (the basis for the next The Conjuring film) suggests that targeting paranormal enthusiasts to earn box office coin is a good way to manifest dollars. Next year’s ghostly themed product has the potential to do far better than this rehash of a familiar tale.