Movie #218 2020: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

We’re back! Honestly, who is even surprised at this point? After the massive failure that was Annabelle, I still returned to The Conjuring universe because let’s face it, the first one was pretty good.

We rejoin Lorraine and Ed Warren in The Conjuring 2 but there’s something a little different about this one: it’s based in England. Once again, this is based on true events which took the Warrens to London in an attempt to solve the Enfield Hauntings. Much like the original movie, there’s a haunted house which is home to a struggling mother and her four children. Despite not thinking that this particular case is anything malevolent, the Warrens stick at it anyway, and quickly discover that things are not as they first thought.

As I mentioned in the first instalment, it’s really great that these films are set in the past. One particular element to the movies in this franchises that I will continue to ramble on about is how spot the costuming is, and the people behind that fact don’t get enough credit.

Despite the narrative in this one being slightly less compelling, it’s clear that there’s at least an attempt to amp up the jump scares to make up for that. This sequel is definitely a jumpier movie, but is it scarier? No. Is it as bad as Annabelle though? Also no. I’m sure that there are people out there who were just as scared by this movie as they were by the first, but it didn’t quite hit those heights for me personally.

As we all expected, Vera Farmiga is still the star of the show, with her acting prowess and flawless facial expressions. However, I’d like to give a special shout out to the kid who plays Janet. Such a revelation! What a star Madison Wolfe is going to be. (I later found out that she’s actually American too, and I had no idea. That’s no easy feat considering how bad some English accent attempts are – even from adults!)

Unlike the first Conjuring movie however, it just feels as though this film could have done with a hefty dose of editing. Not only is it super long, but some of it just doesn’t feel relevant. Patrick Wilson singing with the kids like he’s Captain Von Trapp? Why? Were the writers trying to add a bit of lightness amongst all the horror? Maybe. But the point of a horror film isn’t to provide lightness, and it just ended up taking away from the terror of it all.

Within this movie’s walls, we are introduced to a few new characters to mixed effect. ‘The Nun’ is really good concept and is aptly creepy, but the Crooked Man? Too much CGI and too cartoon-ish to truly be horrifying. Another thing I learned after researching this is that there’s a Crooked Man movie in the works, so I truly hope they reconsider his appearance when shooting that one.

As I’ve already alluded to, the plot of the sequel isn’t quite as thrilling as its mother. There’s a decent plot twist, but this one just didn’t quite live up to the original, and that’s that. However, there are still some really good aspects to it that absolutely trump anything they brought to us in Annabelle, so giving it anything less than three stars would be an injustice. In fact, it’s more of a 3.5 kind of deal.

So far, I’d tell you to not bother with the rest of them and just stick to The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2… but I’ll keep going anyway!

The Conjuring 2 is available to rent on Amazon for £3.49.

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