The Conjuring 2
the conjuring | the conjuring 2 | sequel | james wan | chad hayes | carey w. hayes | david leslie johnson-mcgoldrick | vera farmiga | patrick wilson | madison wolfe | mystery | thriller | canada | untied states | haunting | haunted | ghost | ghosts | demon
Film: The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, James Wan and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Madison Wolfe
I have to admit, I was really excited to see this film. I missed it for quite a while and then watched it in prep of seeing the prequel for this film, to ensure that I was completely caught up on the universe. The official synopsis for this film is Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising 4 children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.
This film pretty much picks up where the last one left off. We get to see Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) as they are dealing with the haunting at Amityville. It is during this that we finally see the dark entity that Lorraine hinted at in the previous film. It turns out to be a Demon Nun (Bonnie Aarons). Dealing with this entity, she sees the death of Ed, but won’t tell him that. She wants to stop dealing with the forces they do for fear of what will happen to him.
Now the big knock against the Warrens is that they took advantage of families that were in need and convinced them that they were being haunted. This film actually has them going on talk shows and trying to face those that don’t believe them. This actually infuriates Ed.
During most of this, we shift over to London. A young girl, Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe), along with her friend has created an Ouija board. They have contacted a spirit and think it is fun. Janet has three siblings and they all walk home together. Her elder sister who she shares a room with is Margaret (Lauren Esposito). She then has two brothers, Billy (Benjamin Haigh) and Johnny (Patrick). They live with their mother, who is raising them by herself when her husband left. Her name is Peggy (Frances O’Connor).
Strange things start to happen in their house, focusing mostly on Janet. She hears a voice and then starts to talk to it. The thing answers through her in a different voice, one that sounds like an old man. It does extend to her sister as well as to Billy. Their mother doesn’t believe them at first, but when she witnesses it first hand, she starts to look for help. This brings her to Maurice Grosse (Simon McBurney). He believes her and tries to help. The news also catches the story and this brings Anita Gregory (Franka Potente). She doesn’t believe her and is trying to expose this as a hoax.
The Warrens are finally called in to help. They are reluctant at first, but then they start to warm to the family. They are brought in when a Catholic priest reaches out to them, wanting them to confirm if this is real or if this is a hoax. They assure them they don’t have to be the ones to get rid of it. It becomes an interesting cat and mouse with much darker things going on behind the scenes.
For being a film over two hours, I thought it actually was paced pretty well. It follows the formula of the first film by introducing us to a famous haunting before getting into the normal story. Much like the first film, we see as the haunting starts to build and the Warrens dealing with their life as well before they collide. I really liked that they were facing their detractors in this, as that is why some people refuse to watch these films. The tension of this film builds to the climax, which I thought was good. The ending I also thought was fine for what they needed.
I do want to note here, that I like that these films have taken documented hauntings and making them into fictional stories. I like the concept of the Demon Nun, but I’m not sure if I’m the biggest fan of stating that it was involved in this haunting in Enfield. I get that they have created a Conjuring universe, so that is where they are going, but it feels a little too gimmicky to me.
As for the acting in this film, Wilson and Farmiga are great once again. They picked up right where they left off last film. They really feel like a married couple and have great chemistry together. Wolfe I thought was good as the focus of most of the haunting. I felt horrible for her as she looked like she was exhausted, which is exactly what she states she is going through. I liked O’Connor as the mother. I felt for her even though I don’t have children. I thought the rest of the cast round out the film well for what they needed, I had no issues here. The acting was pretty strong.
The effects for this film I thought were good for the most part. I did have some issues though. This one definitely seemed to have more CGI in it. Most of it was pretty good. I thought anything they did with the Demon Nun looked fine. It was one of the creepier aspects of the film. What didn’t look good was the Crooked Man. I really disliked the CGI for that and it kind of took me out of the film. The look of the old man was solid and the rest of the effects I felt were fine. This film is actually shot beautifully. There was one scene that was framed amazing. It involves Billy going back to his room, but having his tent that is at the other end of the hall still in frame. We can see it the whole time in the shot and it builds a lot of tension of what is going to happen. I do feel that this film relayed a little bit more on jump scares. I think this is a cheap gimmick if not done correctly and this one toed the line too much.
Soundtrack for the film I thought was good. The score never really overpowers the scene and it definitely fits for what they needed to in order to build tension. It also does the jump scare thing, where the sound drops off before coming back loud. Now I do have to say, I love the use of the religious song whenever the Demon Nun is used. That really amplifies the blasphemous concept they are going for.
Now with that said, I thought this film was definitely a good follow-up to the original. This one did have a few more problems for me, but I still really enjoyed it. I liked the idea of referencing two famous hauntings. I personally wish they would have stuck more to the real haunting than adding in their own universe touch, but it doesn’t ruin it. I do like that this did focus on the Warrens and the Enfield haunting to possible be a hoax. The film is paced really well and I thought the climax and ending are a good payoff. The acting for the film is really good across the board. I did have some issues with the effects, but it doesn’t ruin the film. It is shot beautifully though. The soundtrack for the film was also good. I would definitely say if you liked the original then check this one out too in order to see the story progress. I think it is a good film and worth a viewing.
My Rating: 8 out of 10