Movie review: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The sequel to 2013’s The Conjuring was once again directed by James Wan and returns Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

This time around, the Warrens are investigating the Amityville hauntings and Lorraine has a vision of how the murders happened. She is then lured into a basement by the spirit of a child where she runs into a demonic nun figure and she witnesses the death of Ed as he is impaled by a wooden spike.

After their investigation is complete, Lorraine suggests retiring from investigations as it continues to push them closer and closer to death. However, a family in London is experiencing hauntings and the couple flies overseas to investigate and try to help the family.

Just like the first film, the best aspect of the sequel is the relationship of Ed and Lorraine. You sense just how much these two love and care about each other. There’s this glowing aura around them that makes you feel safe whenever you see them on screen. You sort of wish that you could call Wilson and Farmiga if you were having real-life hauntings.

The performances, across the board, are all fantastic once again. There’s not a single character I’ve disliked in either of The Conjuring films and that’s why it’s hard to dislike them because you do feel that sense of dread and fear for them whenever their lives are threatened by these supernatural entities.

What I appreciate the most about this film is that the haunting of the Hodgson family is brought into question. Many people think that they are doing this as a publicity stunt and the mother just wants better housing for her and her kids. There’s even video evidence of the main vessel for these entities, Janet, played by Madison Wolfe, of manipulation as she throws furniture and utensils across the kitchen to create a scene as though a ghost had done it. It makes you question whether or not everything you are seeing is paranormal or a family pulling a great prank job on the public. Even the Warrens give up on the family after seeing the video. However, we get a convenient plot development that brings the Warrens back and we have another epic finale.

I have to say that the original far succeeds the sequel. The Conjuring 2 is definitely enjoyable but it is way too self-indulgent and is more haunted-house thrills and campiness than I prefer. We even have a CGI creation in the form of the “Crooked Man” appear throughout the film and it looks incredibly goofy.

While I do think there is good pacing for the most part across a ridiculously long 134 minutes, this movie does pause for some exposition and we even get singing from Wilson for around three minutes.

With all that being said, this is still a lot of fun. It’s not as frightening as the original and the story isn’t as encapsulating, but the Warrens are as lovable as can be and the rest of the cast is outstanding.

Rating: 7/10

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