Director, producer and co-writer James Wan has created a genuinely scary horror movie with The Conjuring 2. It is Wan’s best horror film to date.
A mother and her four children begin to experience strange occurrences in their home in Enfield, North London. With professionals stumped by the strange case, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to the UK to investigate…
The Conjuring 2 outshines its predecessor The Conjuring in terms of fear, atmosphere and engagement. The film delivers a palpable sense of apprehension for much of its two hour plus running time. There are a few times that the film veers into sentimental territory, but these are balanced by plenty of scares.
The film is set in late 1970s England. The Conjuring 2 features an almost obligatory montage of London crowd shot to introduce the setting. Whilst this is a bit tired, the suburban backdrop of Enfield gives the impression that supernatural activity could happen anywhere. Unlike the remote farmhouses of other horror films, there is a normality to the setting which is unnerving.
Wan appears to throw everything into the film in order to produce frights. The Conjuring 2 is heavy on jump scares, yet these are effective most of the time. Some of the more supernatural elements seem overexposed, and yet Wan throws in a number of red herrings which work effectively. The central antagonist is a genuinely frightening spectre.
By the time the film reaches its conclusion, fear gives way to violence. The threat has transformed into something tangible, requiring sufficient action to combat. Although the ending is a little predictable, it is a suitable ending for the film. There are several unnerving moments earlier in The Conjuring 2 to compensate for the lack of terror in the ending.Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles well. Frances O’Connor does a decent job as the frantic mother, whilst Madison Wolfe is believable as the young Janet.
The Conjuring 2 feels like a finale to James Wan’s series of horror films. If this turns out to be the case, the series certainly ends on a high.