After declaring that he was “finished” with scary movies when he landed his Furious 7 directing gig, Saw mastermind James Wan couldn’t resist returning to the genre with The Conjuring 2, the follow-up to his 2013 horror blockbuster. But, as he stresses in the above clip from a featurette on the movie’s upcoming Blu-ray release Wan wasn’t about to rest on his bloody laurels. “I wanted to not repeat myself with what I did on the first film,” the Australian filmmaker remarks.
Looking for a fresh challenge for his pair of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Wilson (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), Wan decided to give an innocent British nursery rhyme a creepy twist. Enter the Crooked Man, a sharply angular demon that’s conjuredinto existence by The Conjuring 2’s central boogeyman, the Enfield Poltergeist, who, as supernatural legend goes, terrorized the Hodgson family in 1970s England. The youngest Hodgson, Billy (Benjamin Haigh), has a particular fascination with the Crooked Man thanks to his most treasured possession, a small zoetrope, and the poltergeist cruelly uses that childish affection against him.
Although he only appears in a handful of scenes, the Crooked Man makes an immediate impression on the characters and the audience. In fact, after the film’s successful summer run, we speculated that he had serious spin-off potential, much like The Conjuring’s creepy doll Annabelle, who landed her own film. (For now though, the movie’s equally memorable “demon nun” will be the next character to receive a solo chapter.) And this clip provides a glimpse into how Wan and his crew used a mixture of practical and digital effects to achieve maximum scare potential. “James was very adamant that the Crooked Man feel like he’s there. He can hurt you or touch you,” says visual effects supervisor, Ariel Velasco-Shaw. That’s why the Crooked Man is straight-up scary.