James Wan has become one of the more familiar faces in the horror genre with his “Saw,” “Insidious,” and “Annabelle” series’.
In 2013, Wan created the epic horror movie “The Conjuring” and as is standard horror fare, released the inevitable sequel “The Conjuring 2” in 2016.
Wan knows how to deliver frightful moments, and “The Conjuring 2” contains a litany of them, as we again follow paranormal power couple Elaine and Ed Warren on one of their real life investigations.
Vera Farmiga is the star of the story as Lorraine Warren; a woman troubled by her own supernatural powers, but someone who clearly wants to use her skills for good. The movies opening scene, depicting Lorraine and Ed (Patrick Wilson) conducting a seance at the home of a brutal and bloody mass murder is a thing of perfect terror. “This is as close to hell as I ever want to get.” She confides in Ed after a harrowing experience in the Amityville House.
Flaws with “The Conjuring 2” are just as plenty as the scares. As the Warrens venture to England to assist with the Hodgson family and their encounters with a vengeful spirit, it all seems quite similar to the original story. And unlike in the original, little depth is provided for the Hodgson family other than bad things are happening at their home.
We cared about the Perron family deeply. We experienced what was happening with them and the stress it put on their hard working father and loving mother. With this movie, we plod through the film having little to no concern for what is happening with the family, other than they are just the latest clients.
The haunting images of a sinister nun plague Lorraine and the Hodgson family, and an old toy referred to as the Crooked Man makes for a handful of great terrifying scenes. Like Annabelle, I hear the Crooked Man is now poised to be in a spin off movie. Every day, more cashing in.
Those devices aside, many other effects come off as borderline laughable., and at 2:13 its a good 20 minutes too long.
Because of the repetitive nature of the story, the run time is crucial, and maintaining a tightened story would have been a way to salvage the movie as just another ho-hum also-ran scare fest.
“The Conjuring” is one of the best horror movies in decades, and while I understand the need for a cash cow to produce more and more suckling calves, stick with the original if you want a truly great masterful horror experience.
by – Matt DeCristo