The Conjuring 2 review
The case of whether ghosts exist or not has been a fittingly eternal debate. Some say that it’s simply a trick on the mind whenever we feel a cool chill. Others say that the presence of these spirits is the key to finding proof on the afterlife. Because of this debate, ghosts and the search for them have never been more popular. Their a constant subject of stories and movies. They even have their own reality show on the Travel Channel titled Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters on Syfy. Some cases, like the one portrayed in the movie, are examples of haunted houses that are covered by real news agencies, yet are still questioned by scientists for their academic basis.
What were also looking at is a sequel for 2013 hit The Conjuring. Like many people, I was surprised by how much I liked it, having phrased it for a likable pair of ghost hunters, diving into the personalities of those being haunted, and some genuine good scares. Sequels to horror movies are tough as they tend to repeat stories, loosing much of the unpredictability the original story had. With James Wan returning to his franchise, let’s see if The Conjuring 2 can bring us some new scares.
We first open with our same husband wife ghost hunting team Ed (played by Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (played by Vera Farmiga) who are examining the Amityville murders (yes, the same one from The Amityville Horror). Loraine attempts to contact the spirits during a séance, but a vision of a demonic nun and of Ed getting killed scares her into convincing she and her husband to retire. We then head across the pond to London where a single mom is raising her four children. Like any horror movie, small things start to happen such as the television set reacting oddly and chairs moving by themselves. Even when they leave an stay at a friends house, the poltergeist follows them there.
Various news outlets take in the constant photos and even interview the youngest daughter Janet whose often possessed by that poltergeist. The spirit reveals himself as an old man who had died in the house before the family moved in. The local church hires Lorraine and Ed to investigate. They originally decline, not sure if the events are true or just a hoax. But when they uncover more facts about the house and other demons, this just may prove to be their most dangerous case.
The Conjuring 2 is a rare example of not being just as good as the original, but it might even be better. Like before, the story places most of the focus on getting to know the family that’s being haunted and of the new tension between our ghost hunters. You feel bad that the family is going through these spooky events, and yet you understand why most academics would consider the hauntings a total fake. There’s even a clever moment that makes you question everything that young daughter Janet was doing. Of course I won’t spoil that here.
Director James Wan is a horror maker who understands how important it is to not just scare people, but to help earn those scares. Anyone can pick up a camera and flicker a few lights to make a scary movie, but he’s too smart to fall into that easy trope. He can lead his stories into a spooky symphony that plays so elegantly that you wish he’s take charge of all horror movies. The only issue that can be bothersome is that the film’s formula is very similar to the first movie. I defend this by saying that James Wan was able to improve on some of the story elements, but some of the suspense is taken away when you realize where things are going.
I’ll give this four and a half zoetropes out of five. The Conjuring 2 is an entertaining sequel that took the best elements from the original and took it another step in storytelling and scares. Fans of the original will defiantly like this movie and maybe even some that didn’t watch the first. The good news is that you don’t need to see it to enjoy this movie. If your looking for hot summer bump in the night, then The Conjuring 2 is a pretty good choice.