Three years after the original ‘The Conjuring’, ever-emerging horror legend James Wan delivers an amazingly directed, yet imperfectly written, sequel that doesn’t skimp on the chills.
Some years after the first film, the Warrens are called to do what they do best: kick some spirit ass. When the Hodgson’s begin to experience a scary surplus in the form of an old spirit who refuses to leave their home, they must do with it takes to fight the force. Known as Bill Wilkins, the deadly being has possessed one of the Hodgson girls and refuses to let her go. With the Warrens by their side, the Hodgsons must fight the fight of their lives. Only, things are never what they seem. As the group gets closer to the truth, the more they realize the ghoulish menace under the Hodgson’s roof isn’t what it seems. Being a kid is hard enough. Being possessed by the spirit of an old man would be hell. Welcome to The Conjuring 2.
Ed. This is as close to hell as I ever want to be-Lorraine Warren
Like the chilled cheese on top of a perfectly produced cinematic pizza, the acting in The Conjuring 2 is simply delicious.
Vera Farmiga stars as master of the mind and spirits Lorraine Warren. Husband to Ed, Lorraine is a complex character in the world of The Conjuring. Acting basically like one of the X-Men, due to her ability in communicating with the dead and seeing visions of the future, Lorraine Warren is quite the tricky character to play I imagine. Farmiga not only knocks it out the park but doesn’t over play Lorraine. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to any fan of Bates Motel as the actress expertly plays Norma Bates. Looks at the film’s opening as an example of the actress’ abilities.
Patrick Wilson is also exceptional in The Conjuring 2. After breaking on the film scene in David Slade’s 2006 thriller Hard Candy, Wilson has carved a name out for himself by producing great work; A trend the actor continues with Wan’s sequel. Every scene Wilson commands, every moment not wasted when his face is on screen. Look to the film’s finale as a reminder of Wilson’s great talent because these moments belong to him. Farmiga and Wilson also have amazing chemistry and it’s truly undeniable.
The remaining cast really bring it in The Conjuring 2 as well, with the core group of kids doing a fine job with what they are tasked to do. Frances O’Connor also does a great British accent and it should be mentioned that it was obviously practiced and thankfully so. (A-)
Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and the cast of ‘The Conjuring 2’-Courtesy of Warner
I’d like to preface this by saying that I do like The Conjuring 2’s script. The script does many things right, and in many ways, uses the three act structure appropriately in building to finale that feels monumental in the confines of the given story. That said, there are two huge problems with The Conjuring 2’s script.
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The first problem is in the handling of the Warren characters. While the two ghost fighters are highly intriguing, they should be essential a plot device. A way to bring salvation to and remedy a situation experienced by the main characters. Neither should be considered main characters, and sadly, there’s a point in the film where it switches from being about the Hodgsons to the Warrens. The Hodgsons begin to be the building blocks to the Warren story and not the other way around, which is how the film started and how it should have stayed.
Could you imagine if Dr. Loomis of the Halloween series were the main character and not say Laurie or Jamie? It simply wouldn’t work as Loomis is a plot device in that series, and the Warrens should be used the same way here.
The other problem with The Conjuring 2 script is the stupid way in which the film’s villain is done away with. While I won’t ruin the film, the big hurrah moment where the antagonist is dethroned is almost laughable. It’s downright lazy and frankly it kind of pissed me off. (C+)
James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring 2’ -Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures
Directed by James Wan, The Conjuring 2 is one of the best directed horror films in the history of our genre. I mean this is way above average film making from the man who directed and co-created the Saw series.
Right from the beginning, you’ll notice you’re in for something truly special from the Australian-born filmmaker. Moving his camera with the swiftness of the crane kicks from the Karate Kid, Wan truly understand film making with many examples on display.
Examples of Wan’s currently unmatched directorial prowess, include, but aren’t limited to, a 360-degree shot when actor Wilson enters the room with the crosses, a great crane shot when momma Hodgson is going from the house to the basement Via the outside, and amazing composition throughout that will leave your jaw on the floor,. Also, the opening shot that pulls back to reveal we are inside a very important house in the history of horror is amazing.
One shot in particular really had my head spinning, All in one take, Wan takes his camera all through the Hodgson house, moving in and out of rooms like a suspect snake of the wild. While I know he used CG to accomplish the shot, it was still brilliant. (A+)
James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 is an immaculately directed film. The picture is well acted, and while the script is lacking to say the least, the sequel to the 2013 hit is surely worth your time and money. While the film won’t stay with you for weeks, it’s a great ride from a filmmaker who truly deserves to be called visionary. So grab that popcorn, get a coke, and hug a loved one after you head to the theater to check this one out. But remember, the lights will be out. See you next time Fright Fans.
THE GRADE: B+
Seen The Conjuring 2? Love or Hate it? Love James Wan? Then peek that head from under those covers and let us know all about it in the comment section below.