The Conjuring 2 gave us The Nun, the spirit of Bill Wilkins, and the demon Valak, but it also gave us an updated, James-Wan-ified version of a preexistent folkloric figure: The Crooked Man. If you've seen The Conjuring 2, you'll remember the tall, spindly figure from the Hodgson children's musical zoetrope, and the song it played.
The Crooked Man song in The Conjuring 2 is a musical arrangement by Joseph Bishara (who composes horror movie music as well as playing the Lipstick-Faced Demon in Insidious) but the lyrics have been around a lot longer. Perhaps in an effort to increase the British feel of the movie, Wan chose the traditional English Nursery Rhyme for The Conjuring 2:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
The Crooked Man became popular in the early 1900s although it originated in the 1600s, with the titular Crooked Man supposedly inspired by Sir Alexander Leslie, a general who brokered peace between England and Scotland: the 'crooked house' being the imperfect realm the two old enemies lived in together. The use of a nursery rhyme in The Conjuring 2 is inkeeping with the themes of innocence, and the manipulation of the vulnerable: James Wan is fond of using toys and childhood symbols in his horror movies.
Is The Crooked Man a real figure?
Like the popular CreepyPasta figure Slender Man, the Crooked Man is one in a long line of unsettling figures of long, slim stature, from the Japanese blank-faced Noppera-bō to the old English cautionary tales of Long Lankin, who stalked the woods and took children away.
''Beware the moss, beware the moor, beware of Long Lankin.
Make sure the doors are bolted well, lest Lankin should creep in."
The Romanian Tall Man, the Irish Fear Dubh and German Großmann are other similar fairytale creatures who are tall, mysterious and fixated on children.
Is The Conjuring 2 Crooked Man CGI?
Nope. The Crooked Man was played by actor Javier Botet (Mama, REC 1-4), who at 6''7 and only weighing only 100 pounds often plays figures of otherworldly proportions in movies. James Wan tweeted on the matter:
“I’ve seen a few critics refer to a Conjuring 2 character as CGI or stop-motion, but is in fact played by the incredible, and very real, Javier Botet. [He] creates amazing movements with his body. Like a living, jittery, stop-motion puppet. All done in-camera.”
Will The Crooked Man get his own Conjuring 2 spin-off movie?
The Nun is getting her own spin-off movie, so why not the Crooked Man? Despite him not being the main entity in The Conjuring 2 — merely a vessel for a more powerful demon to use, in fact — we could see more of the Crooked Man.
Towards the end of The Conjuring 2, Ed Warren (played by Patrick Wilson) places the Crooked Man zoetrope the Warrens' room of haunted things, alongside the Annabelle doll. Clearly the Warrens keep a souvenir from their successful cases, but this could be a subtle hint that the Crooked Man will be back...