Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Buy The Conjuring 2 on Amazon Video
Written by: Carey Hayes & Chad Hayes & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson (screenplay), Carey Hayes & Chad Hayes & James Wan (story)
Directed by: James Wan
Starring:  Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe
Rating: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

A malicious spirit plagues a single mother and four children in North London. Their only hope are paranormal investigators Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson).

This is a solid horror movie, and a sequel on par with the first. Again, we're at a haunted house. This one is less restrained compared to the first and does a bit more. While the first was novel, this attempts nothing new which is good and bad. This avoid gore and for the most part jump scares. It relies on mood and unnerving you. The nun is terrifying.
Watch it.

You don't need to see The Conjuring (2014) (read my review) to enjoy this, and not seeing it almost makes the sequel better. The first is a bit more restrained, I'd guess in part due to a smaller budget. That propels it to focus on mood and ambiance. The second is nearly the same story with just a different setting. It never quite escapes the feeling you've seen it before, though the sequel does try to amplify the creepiness. If it's not broken, don't change it. The box office take seems to agree. This had a great opening for a horror movie.

We get a few tropes like a single mother of four trying to make it work, a Ouija board, and a stuttering kid. Thankfully these aren't major plot elements.
One of the daughters begins sleepwalking and hearing voices. The mother doesn't believe it, and just as I'm about to get mad at the mom, the movie makes her a believer. This reaches some of the same heights in mood of the first, sometimes surpassing it. The sequence with Lorraine and the picture of the nun is incredibly well done, playing with shadows and anticipation. The nun is terrifying, and while I wish the nun was featured more, it's best not to over do it.

Much of the movie has a parallel plot line with Lorraine scared a vision she had might come true. I wish that plot line had merged with the main plot sooner. It's clear the two arcs are intertwined and it's easy to guess how they'll combine.

This presents a skeptic, though it doesn't explore it very far. I was hoping the skeptic would be made a believer, but those scenes serve to bolster Ed's resolve and his need to save people.

With a girl that's seemingly possessed, this reminded me loosely of The Exorcist (1973) a few times, though it's mainly due to the similarity in possession. This isn't far different from the first The Conjuring. but the first movie is such a refreshing horror movie that while this is a good retread, it's still a retread nonetheless.

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