Horror Review: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2

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After the resounding success of The Conjuring, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before the sequel came upon us again. The problem with sequels is that it is extremely hard to match the surprises from the original movie. The Godfather 2 is a great movie, but most will tell you that it does not contain the charm of the original. In the horror world, Friday the 13th Part II introduces the world to an adult version of Jason Voorhees, but fans still always say the original was the best one. Some folks go as far as to say that the sequel cannot ever surpass the original simply because the sequel would not exist if it were not for the original.

I am not here to tell you that James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 is better than The Conjuring, but I can say that the sequel is exceptionally adequate and surely has the chance to possibly surpass the original, which I simply loved. Only time will tell if that actually happens though.

As far as sequels go, The Conjuring 2 does everything that you need a sequel to do. The same vibe is still there, but the story line and location are different enough to not be a clone of the original.

James Wan outdoes himself with the sequel though as he is really breathing rare air in terms of his direction. He takes even the most common horror tropes and is able to still make them appear fresh. Even when you know when something is about to happen on screen, it feels unique in some way. Wan’s respect for the style of 70’s and 80’s horror films is apparent throughout The Conjuring 2 more so than any of his other previous works. Taking one of the most notable paranormal activities in the notorious Enfield poltergeist and still making it feel like a fresh perspective is rare indeed.

The films opens with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) investigating the aftermath of the murders that became known as The Amityville Horror. Lorraine uses her unique ability to communicate with supernatural beings and is able to step through the actual murders to investigate the possibility that the murders were demonic in nature. During her out of body experience, she meets the “Demon Nun” (Bonnie Aarons) who will play a major part during the remainder of the movie. Lorraine also gets a warning of impending death for Ed.

As expected, Wilson and Farmiga play their parts wonderfully and Wan’s direction is smooth. The story by Wan, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes David Leslie Johnson exceeds our expectations and the family being haunted is convincing with the mother playing an excellent role.

The pace of the film is excellent with the down moments of the film being relevant and supportive of the action of the film. As far as horror goes, genre fans may not see it, but the casual fans will find The Conjuring 2 to have successful tension and jump scares. I know that the folks I went with were very scared during the viewing, so the film did its job as far as I am concerned.

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