The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Writer: Carey HayesChad Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson
Based on: a case from Ed and Lorraine Warren
Sequel to: The Conjuring
Cast: Patrick WilsonVera FarmigaMadison WolfeFrances O’ConnorLauren EspositoBenjamin HaighPatrick McAuleySimon McBurneyMaria Doyle KennedySimon DelaneyFranka PotenteSteve CoulterJoseph Bishara
Seen on: 17.6.2016

Plot:
After what happened in Amityville Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have agreed to take things slowly and not take on any new cases – at the request of Lorraine who has been having visions and premonitions, and none of the good kind. But when they hear about a case of single mother Peggy (Frances O’Connor) who have been having troubles since moving to a new house, most of all with daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe), the Warrens agree to travel to London to see them and, most likely, debunk whatever is going on. But things turn out differently than they thought.

I very much loved The Conjuring and pretty much all the horror films Wan did so far, so my expectations for The Conjuring 2 were high indeed – and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s scary and funny and thoroughly effective.

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The Conjuring 2 is an excellent James Wan movie in that it has a knack for building tension by playing with audience expectations very cleverly. It’s in the empty spaces the camera shows and sometimes fills, sometimes not and the way it moves as much as in the way the scenes are set up and lit. And of course, the sound department is always perfect, both with music and effects. Without them, the film would probably only be half as good.

All of that makes for a film that scared the crap out of me, but that is not all the film does. At its heart and center are the Warrens who are one of the best movie couples I can think of. They hold the film together and give it purpose and shape where it risks drifting off into all too familiar territory. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga capture their trust and give those two characters and their relationship the needed depth. The only drawback to that is that it steals focus from the family they’re supposed to save. But since they’re struggling to save themselves just as much, I didn’t mind.

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And then, to round it all off, the film is even funny, almost silly at times. These breaks in the tension make it possible to stay with the film the entire time and not to start getting bored. Since it’s impossible to stay outright scared for two hours without some flat-lining, that was not only welcome but definitely necessary.

I regret not having had the time to re-watch the first film shortly before seeing the second one. Because the only thing that can be better than watching one of them, is seeing both of them. Though I guess if you didn’t like the first one, the second one won’t have much to offer for you either. Be that as it may, I thought it was great.

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Summarizing: Excellent.

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