Cindy: So, what do you want to do for Father’s Day?

Me (sporting my serious face): I want to see The Conjuring 2 and eat some BBQ.

Last week I made a pledge to see The Conjuring 2, and I’ve made good on that pledge.  Many of you know that I have a deep, almost unnatural, love of all things “scary” (if I didn’t, I would have chosen the wrong blog subject).  There is just something about a good scary movie that gets my imagination going and has me sitting on the edge of my seat, not from fear, but to see what’s around that darkened corner where an ominous floorboard squeak is coming from.  The first Conjuring movie did just that and I was hooked on director James Wan’s style.  So, if you can imagine, I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the trailer months ago.

THE MOVIE:  The Conjuring 2 (2016)

(Serious face again) GO SEE THIS MOVIE.  There is a reason it was the #1 movie in America.

The premise:  It’s 1976, and, like the first movie, we find Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) engaged in another case, only this time they are investigating a house in Amityville.  You know the one.  It’s here that we see a premonition of Ed’s death and a demon dressed as a Catholic Nun (cameo by Marilyn Manson… okay, not really, but now try NOT seeing him) who follows Lorraine home.  We also get a glimpse into Ed’s artistic side.  Flash forward one year and 3,500 miles East to dreary old London, where the Hodgson family is being plagued by an extremely intrusive and violent spirit that is way too powerful to simply be a run-of-the-mill ghost.  The Catholic Church, not wanting to get directly involved in this high-profile paranormal media circus, call in the Warrens to look into what is really going on.  What Ed and Lorraine find when they get there is that the demon from Amityville has gone international.

James Wan’s team of writers is solid.  We have back the same crew that wrote the first Conjuring movie (Carey and Chad Hayes) and added David Leslie Johnson (who also wrote for The Walking Dead, Red Riding Hood, and the upcoming 2018 Aquaman movie (suddenly interesting, huh?)).  From a storyteller’s point of view, The Conjuring 2 delivers on just about every level.  We have a well-thought out plot that ties it to the first movie, it has a creepy atmosphere and the distinct style that makes it instantly recognizable as a James Wan movie (like the Insidious movies and Dead Silence).  There are plenty of twists and turns, and it really explores the general public’s common disbelief in the paranormal.  The movie was creepy, stylish, had just enough jump-scares, and was even sentimental at times.

THE WINE:  Chop House Red Wine Blend

Red Blend 2011 (California)

About $8.50 a bottle (your average 6 pack of craft beer will run about $9.50).

Like I said, I wanted BBQ.  Unfortunately, I got spoiled by living in central Texas for the last few years and you never really hear about Pacific Northwest BBQ.  After an attempt to find a BBQ joint that was open on a Sunday within driving distance, we settled on Famous Dave’s (a chain place, but decent).  As per the norm, I loaded up on ribs and heaped on the burnt ends.

When pairing a wine with savory meats and spicy/sweet BBQ sauces, you need something that will compliment and stand on its own.  I was drawn to the Chop House Red Blend from the first sentence of the description as it boasted rich flavors of boysenberry, leather and cedar, all of which would complement the smoky char on the ribs.  It absolutely lived up to the hype.  The accompanying flavors of raspberry jam, chocolate and black pepper did will to bring out the flavors of the spicy BBQ sauce.  It was smooth enough that I would have had another bottle if one was available.

This is a great bottle of wine if you are in the mood for BBQ (steak, ribs, whatever).