In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren come out of a self-imposed sabbatical and travel to London, England, where overwhelmed single mother Peggy Hodgson believes that something evil is in her home. When Peggy's youngest daughter starts showing signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine attempt to help the...more
In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren come out of a self-imposed sabbatical and travel to London, England, where overwhelmed single mother Peggy Hodgson believes that something evil is in her home. When Peggy's youngest daughter starts showing signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine attempt to help the besieged girl only to find themselves targeted by the malicious spirits. less
“Scary enough to keep your heart pumped all the way, just not enough to match the impact of its original.”
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First, the all-important question: Is The Conjuring 2 scary? Like, jump out of your seat, watch through your outstretched fingers scary? The answer to that is "yes.
" Under James Wan's direction, even the most clichéd haunted-house tropes (and this movie is bursting with them) are genuinely creepy, and although the movie isn't overly reliant on jump scares, the ones it does use—well, they work. On a lizard-brain level, The Conjuring 2 taps into the universal childhood fear of the dark, and some of its simplest moments—like a little girl hiding under the covers with a flashlight—are its most effective, bolstered by skillfully executed sound design and Don Burgess' gloomy cinematography.
Speaking of tropes, that's where the "based on a true story" bit comes in. The main plot of the film revolves around a real-life incident known as the Enfield Poltergeist, an extremely well-documented case of a supposed ghost who terrorized the Hodgson family of North London in late 1970's and was apparently a fan of the classics: knocking on walls, shaking beds, throwing furniture, and even the occasional haunted kid's toy.
James Wan's trademark visual style is repeated in this movie - his bag of tricks sometimes yielding a sense of deja vu but generally working like a charm. When it's intended to scare, it really does. The scares come a bit more frequently than in the first movie and do manage to build a lot of tension, even if you've seen the original, so well done to Wan for that.
What's really enjoyable about this movie, is its nostalgic recreation of 70s England. Wan has really done a great job of this, which is surprising given that he's not from there. Also, the central support role of Janet Hodgson is pretty crucial to empathising with the Enfield family and Madison Wolfe gives a solid performance.
I found this to be an extremely successful horror film. I admire James Wan's ambition and I was impressed by his masterful use of long takes. I felt that the flaws in this film were greatly outweighed by it's achievements and I will definitely be checking it out again soon. In my opinion this is the best horror sequel since 'Evil Dead II' and I would definitely recommend it.