The Conjuring 2

"Very Good"

The Conjuring 2 Review


Continuing on from the 2013 hit, this sequel blends fact and fiction to follow real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) from the 1976 Amityville haunting to an encounter with the Enfield poltergeist in 1977 London. Filmmaker James Wan continues to deploy every cinematic gimmick he knows to freak out the audience, and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even more unsettling. Although the cliches of the genre feel a bit tired.

The story opens in Amityville, where the Warrens are deeply disturbed by supernatural forces and decide to take some time off. But they're soon summoned to England to help a family being terrorised by a nasty spirit. Arriving in Enfield, North London, they meet Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), a plucky single mother of four, who is worried that the ghost of an angry old man is threatening her 11-year-old daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe). Now staying with neighbours (Simon Delaney and Maria Doyle Kennedy) across the street, Peggy has also called in two experts, a true believer (Simon McBurney) and a sceptic (Franka Potente), to work with the Warrens to clear this malevolent presence from the family home.

While the script inventively intermingles the facts of the case with a generous dose of movie fiction, Wan fills the screen with all kinds of creepy goings-on, including banging noises, levitating furniture and flickering TV screens. Additional standard scares include a nerve-jangling toy and a seriously scary nun (who's about to get her own spin-off film, like the creepy doll Annabelle from the first movie). Wan also uses manipulative movie trickery from moody music to grubby production design to prowling camerawork that constantly reveals something frightening in the deep shadows. What he never does is find a new way to scare the audience: we have seen all of these tricks before, but of course they still work.

And the solid performances add to this adept filmmaking, with Wilson and Farmiga adding generous doses of sardonic wit and warm emotion to every scene (plus, in Wilson's case, an engaging Elvis impersonation). The superb Wolfe has the most wrenching role this time as the young girl put through the wringer, almost literally. And since Wan takes time to deepen the characters with humour and chemistry, the horror set-pieces are genuinely terrifying. Even so, it's rather unoriginal to resort to yet another dark and dangerous basement to incite fear. So this film ends by reminding us that terror definitely needs a new cinematic language.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Conjuring 2:



The Conjuring 2

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

In Theaters: Friday 10th June 2016

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Dune Entertainment, The Safran Company, Evergreen Media Group, Soho VFX, Atomic Monster

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Peter Safran,

Starring: as Ed Warren, as Lorraine Warren, as Janet Hodgson, as Peggy Hodgson, as Maurice Grosse, as Peggy Nottingham, as Vic Nottingham, as Anita Gregory, Robin Atkin Downes as Bill (voice), as Crooked Man, Sterling Jerins as Judy Warren, Shannon Kook-Chun as Drew, Steve Coulter as Father Gordon, Abhi Sinha as Harry Whitmark, Nancy DeMars as Woman Walking Dog, Jennifer Collins as Louise

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