Cert: 15 Runtime: 134 mins Director: James Wan Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Lauren Esposito and Simon McBurney
This is my house!
James Wan is probably the best working horror director in the business right now! The Conjuring, Saw, Insidious are franchises that I adore and he really has re-invented direction in horror. The Conjuring 2 truly grabbed my attention from the beginning, but I was unaware of the Enfield Poltergeist! The most recorded paranormal study ever from the UK. How did I not know this? After much reading I had mentally prepared myself for Wan’s latest. So what is it about? In a seemingly ordinary London home. When the Hodgson family find themselves the unwanted targets of intense and often violent supernatural phenomena, they turn to the Warrens (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) for help. What ensues is to become the Warrens’ most terrifying case ever.
The Conjuring 2 is a rare example of not being just as good as the original, but it might even be better. Like before, the story places most of the focus on getting to know the family that’s being haunted and of the new tension between our ghost hunters. You feel bad that the family is going through these spooky events, and yet you understand why most academics would consider the haunting a total fake. There’s even a clever moment that makes you question everything that young daughter Janet was doing. Of course I won’t spoil that here. Director James Wan is a magician. He has all the tricks; sleight of hand, misdirection, creating illusions that will terrify you to the core, without having to resort to gore or cheap thrills. Granted he is a master of making you jump out your seat, of making your heart skip a beat, but it’s his ability to force you to hold your breath that makes his Conjuring movies so appealing and so much fun to watch. The camera pans and tilts at weird angles. The foreground and background focus and blur interchangeably as if to visually bend reality. A voice whispers in the dark.
Every single actor should be praised for their performances, especially Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren, Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren, Madison Wolfe as Janet Hodgson and Frances O’Connor as Peggy Hodgson. I think why many horror movies don’t succeed is because we don’t feel pity or remorse for the characters in the story, but when it comes to this film it doesn’t fail at all (which is proof that the script and the characters are believable and powerful). The plot points and presentation in the film can be weak. The Conjuring 2 has a few moments that I was still wanting closure on. I have to be sparing to not spoil anything, but one major detail lacking is why one particular thing has a vendetta against the family. A second limiting plot point is how two of the characters sort of drop out of the story without so much as a blink when they had played a key role in the film. But even with these limitations, the story itself was mostly complete and had a good closure, again I’m grasping at straws here. In addition there were some melodramatic moments that were a bit drawn out and somewhat cheesy to me. The Conjuring 2 is worth any ones time!