The Conjuring 2

The following story contains massive spoilers for The Conjuring 2.

2016 seems to be the year of the reshoot. Several high profile films have gone back to do additional filming this year, but at least one of them was planning to do so the entire time, in order to add something they knew they were going to need. Director James Wan says that the ultimate demon character of the film wasn't added until he went back to do reshoots for the film. What's more, he finished principal photography knowing that he was going to have to go back and add the monster later, but was willing to do that, since he hadn't figured out what it was going to look like yet.

The Conjuring 2 is the story of two spirits, sort of. Throughout the film, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) is haunted by visions of a spectral nun. She sees the nun first at the Amityville house, then again in her own home. Finally, at the end of the film, it turns out that the nun has actually been the spirit haunting Enfield the entire time, only using the old man's spirit as a cover. In an interview with iO9, James Wan says that the character of the nun wasn't even in the movie until he went back to do reshoots, because he was still looking for the right inspiration for who the creature would even be.

I always knew that I was going to do additional photography. So I was saving it, because I was hoping I'd discover what that thing would look like as I was putting the movie together in post-production.

Luckily, a conversation with the real Lorraine, regarding a spirit she says haunts her, led James Wan down a path that eventually created the demon nun, a spirit who attacks Lorraine and her faith.

In recent days, the idea of having to go back and resume filming has gained a bad reputation. The word that films like Suicide Squad and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have needed to go back and get new or different footage have fans worried that there's a problem with the film. Many are afraid that the existing film isn't good enough, or that the studio is getting too involved in the production and are forcing changes to a filmmaker's vision. While things like that are always possibilities, this situation shows that sometimes reshoots are simply part of the normal process. Here, James Wan had a good idea of something that he wanted to do, but didn't have all of the details worked out. Sometimes that creative inspiration hits when you're working on the script, other times it doesn't show up until later. In the end, it's simply a good thing that it didn't hit until after the movie was finished.

What did you think of The Conjuring 2? Were these reshoots that were actually a good idea?

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