Do you know how rare it is to get a horror movie sequel that is just as well-made as its predecessor? Pretty dang rare man. Then again, we are talking about director James Wan. He is up there with: John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, and Sam Raimi as one of the best horror directors of all time. He’s probably the best modern horror director working (and alive) right now and his movies have clearly shown that. He has brought us Saw (the good one), Insidious, and The Conjuring; all great modern horror flicks. After his detour with Furious 7 (which was also the best film in that franchise), he returned to The Conjuring, and my gosh am I glad that he did!
The Conjuring 2 is directed by James Wan and written by: Carey Hayes, James Wan, Chad Hayes, and David Leslie Johnson. Stars-Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, and Benjamin Haigh. Premise-Paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren are asked by a desperate mother to investigate her house in London, which is supposedly haunted by a vengeful spirit.
Just like any James Wan movie, there are going to be a bunch of little inconsistencies throughout the movie. Not make-or-break issues, just little annoyances like: a character going into a scary room when they should know better, dumb decisions, overly loud sound effects, and the occasional jumpscare that just didn’t need to be in the movie (at least they don’t do false scares). One peculiar thing I found odd is that the characters seem to sleep more heavily than a sloth! There are at least 3 scenes where a character does something (or is assaulted by a demon) in a loud fashion in a house filled with people. Despite this, no one ever wakes up until their name is called, or they are shaken awake (CinemaSins will have a field day with this movie). Aside from that, there is an overuse of Dutch angles in the first third which became quite distracting, and a few of the supporting actors aren’t that convincing.
If The Witch was mostly build-up and few scares, The Conjuring 2 is mostly scares with less build-up. That is not a bad thing in the slightest, because you will constantly be on the edge of your seat! There are no false scares, so you can feel the constant threat of the demons as does the family in the movie. When sh** gets real, the budget (which is double the budget of the first movie) is well-utilized. The effects, makeup, and set design look incredible. The music is terrifying, the cinematography is great, Wilson/Farmiga’s acting is genuine, and the climax is spectacular. You’d be surprised to discover how much convincing drama is in this movie. There are a few “dysfunctional family” clichés, but we get to learn more about the Warren’s history and their relationship. The main characters of this movie are seriously underrated protagonists/people.
*NO SPOILERS* There is a M.M.M scene in this movie (there are even fewer of those out there). Ed Warren is attempting to speak to the demon haunting the house, the whole sequence is Ed’s face turned away from the demon in the background. The camera is only in focus on Ed, and we can see parts of the demon in the unfocused background as he slowly appears. This sequence is well-acted, done in one take, suspenseful, and lasts 2 minutes. It’s the best scene in the movie, and you’ll be blown away.
I’m so glad that this movie delivers! Especially when I know that I have to see yet another Purge movie pretty soon. I apologize for the lateness of this review, but more people need to see this movie, and I hope that this review gets more people interested in the movie. The Conjuring 2 gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A-.