THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST on Apple TV+ is a new four-part docuseries covering the famous poltergeist haunting known from The Conjuring 2. I didn’t care for the first episode, but after that it worked well for me thanks to the interviews. Read our full The Enfield Poltergeist docuseries review here!
THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST is a new Apple TV+ docuseries in four episodes that are each around one hour long. In other words, there is plenty of time to cover this famous (and infamous) paranormal case. While it was very well-covered as it happened in 1977, it definitely experienced renewed fame when it was the subject of The Conjuring 2.
However, where the famous James Wan movie focused on the role of Ed and Lorraine Warren, they are merely a footnote in this Apple TV+ production. Instead, we get a lot of interviews with the people who took part in events. Including Janet Hodgson herself and her sister Margaret.
This documentary series uses the original audio recordings from the events and combines them with video footage that recreates the events described, but recorded with actors.
Continue reading our The Enfield Poltergeist docuseries review below. Find the series on Apple TV+ from October 27, 2023.
The story you thought you knew
If you know about “The Enfield Poltergeist” mostly from The Conjuring 2, then you’ll come to realize you don’t really know the story. I mean, sure, there are plenty of details that are correct, but also a whole slew of details and information that has been left out. For one, The Warrens really weren’t a big part of this case.
That’s a pretty big detail when it comes to really knowing the story of the Enfield Poltergeist case.
The Enfield Poltergeist docuseries is a four-part Apple Original production based on more than 250 hours of audio archive. Also, we get a meticulous recreation of the setting of the haunting; The Hodgson family home in Enfield. Finally, the most important element for me (in any documentary, really) is the people interviewed.
For this Apple Original docuseries, we get original interviews with the people impacted by the case. Yes, including the now-adult Janet Hodgson and the son of the late paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse. He can speak to how his father worked on the case and what kind of man he was.
The way this docuseries is made, it really does take you [the viewer] back to 1977. This was when the terrifying haunting of an everyday family in Enfield, London, took place.
Some elements truly irked me
After watching the first episode of The Enfield Poltergeist, I wasn’t that excited about watching the rest. Honestly, it didn’t work well for me. Particularly, I found myself getting extremely irritated when we first heard two police officers describe a situation while watching actors pretend to speak the words. Then we see the original interviews with the police officers on screen.
Surely, the point of having actors is to “fill in the [visual] gaps” because only audio is available. Not just replicate interviews that were already done on camera.
This leads me to my main issue with this whole case; Why are there only audio recordings and still photography available? The video camera that recorded moving pictures had long been invented, as made obvious by both Maurice Grosse’s own family movies and the many television interviews.
So why were video recordings never implemented over the many months this case was worked in 1977?!
The best proof would have been to have something on camera and not simply audio recordings, which are desperately easy to manipulate. As is video recordings, I know, but not even attempting to catch it on camera is odd to me.
The skeptics are also included
Fortunately, this issue – and many others – is covered as we also hear from those who are more skeptical. Particularly when it comes to the methods implemented by Maurice Grosse. Clearly, he went into this case wanting to prove that there was a poltergeist rather than trying to investigate if there was a poltergeist.
This is like when police officers want to prove that it was X who did it. They then only focus on evidence that points to this. And also ignore all details that might disproof this. A slippery slope, indeed.
I also really took offense with the fact that Maurice Grosse seemed much more dedicated to getting proof of the poltergeist than ever helping the Hodgson family get rid of this tormenter. However, it should be noted that the Hodgson family was happy with the help Maurice Grosse provided.
Obviously, this matters more than what I may feel when watching the case covered in a documentary more than 40 years later.
Watch The Enfield Poltergeist on Apple TV+
No matter the issues I may have with the people, who worked on the Enfield Poltergeist case back in the 1970s, I liked this docuseries. Well, once we got past the first episode and moved on to the deeper parts of the case. The last two episodes were by far the most interesting to me because we hear from Janet Hodgson and her sister Margaret Hodgson.
The fate of Janet Hodgson towards the end of the whole poltergeist ordeal is never covered in movies like The Conjuring 2. According to such a movie, The Warrens saved the day and the Hodgson family could move on. I’m oversimplifying, of course, but so did that movie. In fact, The Warrens seem to have made a career out of selling these “case stories” where they are portrayed as heroes and saviors.
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I can’t say Maurice Grosse is necessarily better in terms of the role, he ultimately plays. However, I believe he truly did mean to help the Hodgson family. Something the Hodgson family – according to Janet Hodgson herself – also feels to this day. In the fourth and final episode of this docuseries, we also get an idea of what drove Maurice Grosse. A fascinating and heartbreaking detail.
The Enfield Poltergeist will make its global debut on Apple TV+ on Friday, October 27, 2023.
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Cast: Olivia Booth-Ford, Christopher Ettridge, Christos Lawton, Paula Benson, Charlotte Miller, Daniel Lee
Experience the chilling true story of the world’s most famous poltergeist case through original audio recordings made inside the house as the events unfolded.