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The Enfield Poltergeist

Updated: Jan 12

Can you believe your ears?

Apple TV+ creepy miniseries THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST delivers chills via a clever and unique approach that I've never seen before.

Well-cast actors recreate the real life events from the world's most famous haunting. Everything you see is re-enacted. But everything you HEAR are the actual recordings from inside the home.

In four chapters that total just short of four hours, we meet folks that will be familiar to you if you've watched the terrifying film "The Conjuring 2".

Maurice Gross is the inventor and businessman whose fascination with the supernatural draws him to a suburban UK family in distress.

Mrs. Hodgson is a divorced, cash strapped single Mom with two daughters and a son at home. Her other son has recently left for a school for troubled children. Daughters Margaret and Janet start to hear knocking in the house, which is escalated to furniture moving across the room and incessant rapping on the walls, floor and ceiling.

Gross arrives with a tape recorder and cameras and begins documenting the case. Compiling over 200 hours of audio tapes, this is by far, the best documented instance of potential supernatural activity in history.

The filmmakers show you at the start of each episode how they've meticulously recreated the family's home on a sound stage, based on the thousands of photographs gathered over the years of the case. Every actor lip syncs (incredibly effectively) to the actual recordings during the event.

The music score is subtle, leaving you with much more of a documentary feel than a fictionalized account.

The young actors involved are talented, and become more and more effective as you then begin seeing the adult versions of their characters telling their own tale.

Christos Lawton is very good as Guy Lyon Playfair, the man that joins Morris' investigation early on and remains for the duration.

The amount of time that Playfair and Gross spend in the Hodgson's home is startling.

What I liked about the film is that it presents just as much skepticism as it does support for the events being supernatural. It creates a fair playing field that makes some of the recorded events all the more terrifying.

There was a turning point in the film for me when Bill, the elderly old man's ghost is speaking through Janet, that swayed the way I felt about the case. The questions he asks seem much more the questions of an 11 year old girl than an elderly old man. This spins into psychology questions that make you question everything.

Then the final chapter unveils new "coincidences" that swing the pendulum back.

"Conjuring 2" accurately portrayed Morris and used many of the actual recordings but greatly escalated the events into one of the most horrifying movies I've ever enjoyed. It was excellent.

This documentary brings things back to reality.

How scary that reality will be for you likely depends on your personal perspective on ghosts, supernatural events, spirits and the like.

No matter what side of the fence you're on, THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST provides plenty of chills, spooks and bumps in the night. Knowing that everything you're hearing are the actual sounds of events inside the home ups the tension and the fun if you're into this sort of thing.

Count us in.

I'll give it a solid B. Edited into a leaner three chapters, it would have scared up an A.



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