James Wan has done it yet again with The Conjuring 2. I had such high hopes and am so very happy to say it doesn’t disappoint!
It seems like the campaign promoting The Conjuring 2 has been going on for the longest time, which just made me continuously anxious to finally see the sequel to one of my all-time favorite horror movies. In fact, James Wan is one of my favorite directors! Well, now that I’ve finally seen it, I’m so very happy to report that it did not disappoint in any way. The Conjuring 2 is a worthy and solid sequel to Wan’s modern day classic horror success from 2013.
I know many people have pointed out that the Enfield story wasn’t exactly an “Ed and Lorraine Warren” story, since they ended up leaving without helping the family, but don’t worry their scepticism is very much a part of this story. And also, The Warrens don’t arrive at the Enfield house until quite late, since we’re following two storylines simultaniously. However, the paths of these two stories will of course cross – and do keep your eyes out for signs around Lorraine Warren that will end up serving as important information later on, when they arrive in Enfield.
I’m not much for spoilers, but I will say this; I have no problem with the way the story unfolds in The Conjuring 2 and I think they manage to get around the historic inaccuracies of The Warrens’ involvement with the Enfield house in a very elegant way. Is it accurate? Well, no, but no one truly knows what was real with the case in the first place. I do believe that watching the BBC miniseries mentioned in a previous article here, would serve as some very good further information about this case as they followed the official story much more closely.
The two elements that make The Conjuring 2 yet another masterpiece are the acting and James Wan’s impacable style in making a horror movie so much more elegant – and at the same time intensely creepy – than we’ve seen before. To begin with the latter, Wan has a way of letting the audience almost become a character, when he lets us wander around with him as the camera continues to move and rarely remains stactic for long. Even when switching from night to day, he’ll let us look at the eerie shadows in the dark corner and then pan over to the window as it turns into day only to end up on the couch in a calm moment. This style of never stopping, never simply fading out, keeps you on the edge of your seat. You can’t just take a deep breath because a scene fades to black and then we continue with the story in another place. No, he takes us along for the ride from beginning to end. In a way, it’s just like when Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) has an out-of-body experience and is able to see everything at once.
Besides Madison Wolfe and Frances O’Connor, the real winner for me is Vera Farmiga. Not only did I love her in the first movie, and absolutely adore her as Norma Bates on Bates Motel, she just pulls you in with those piercing blue eyes that are both terrified of the world and unreluctant to cave in to anything malicious. Often, the most powerful scenes for me as I watched The Conjuring 2 were the ones where either Madison Wolfe or Vera Farmiga were completely alone and you could just observe the struggle they went through. The one weak point for me was Franka Potente (Run, Lola, Run and The Bourne Identity), which I really didn’t expect. In her first scene of the movie, she nailed it completely, but then something with the accent and the power of her character just seemed to evaporate with each following scene. Nothing that ruined the movie for me, but I was expecting more from her in this movie.
If you’ve watched any of James Wan’s previous productions – you know, just one of those little horror things by the name Saw or Insidious or, of course, The Conjuring – then you should also know to keep your eyes out for lots of little hints and “cameos” from his previous movies. At one point, I thought they were doing a crossover to Insidious but then I realized the timeline was way off, so it was just a nice touch of familiarity that did it for me.
Look, let’s be real, if you love horror then you can’t miss anything James Wan is bringing us. The Conjuring 2 is working the same style that we loved in the first movie, but this is completely its own film and story, so you don’t have to watch the original. Also, for the record, when you’ve watched The Conjuring 2 you won’t have to fear clowns any more, cause Wan makes nuns look a lot more terrifying! Oh, and there’s a children’s book character that’s also brought to life in a very creepy way, that’ll give a lot of people nightmares for sure!
The Conjuring 2 is out in theaters starting June 10, 2016
Director: James Wan
Writer: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan and David Leslie Johnson
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Franka Potente
Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.