‘The Conjuring 2’ Doubles Down On The Scares, But Not Much Else (Movie Review)

The Conjuring 2There hasn’t been that much buzz leading up to the theatrical release of The Conjuring 2.  While it took me a couple watches to warm up to the first installment (my Blu-ray review here), I guess what I’m most surprised is the return of James Wan in the directors chair.  After he got the invite to helm Furious 7, I guess I never really expected him to come back to something so small or in the horror genre anytime soon.  I think he did a great job on Furious 7, but what do I know.  Maybe it was too much for him and he wanted to go back to something simple before moving on to err…Aquaman, but I digress.  Nevertheless, the horror mastermind of James Wan is back for better or worse to lead us on another supernatural adventure in The Conjuring 2, releasing in theaters this coming weekend, July 10th.

I don’t know about y’all, but I consider The Conjuring 2 the third film in this Ed and Lorraine Warren film saga, with the second movie really being the spinoff Annabelle (my Blu-ray review here).  However, I digress as The Conjuring 2 is officially the sequel to 2013’s Conjuring.  This entry was written by Carey and Chad Hayes, Wan and a guy whose work I have loved in the past, David Leslie Johnson.  Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as the infamous real-life paranormal investigators and authors Ed and Lorraine Warren.  This time out, newcomers Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Lauren Esposito and Maria Doyle Kennedy join the cast as the Warrens travel to the United Kingdom in 1977 to assist the Hodgson family, who are experiencing poltergeist activity at their Enfield council house, a case they call England’s version of the Ammityville Horror, which is touched upon and mentioned in here.

So yeah!  I wanted with all my heart to love this film.  I wanted to eat this one up like a fat kid who knows diabetes is in store for him in his future, but can’t get enough of that delicious, yummy, chocolate cake.  The truth is for the most part I did enjoy the hell out of this film, that is until the film ended.  It left me with my jaw drop saying really?  I really spent two hours of my night to watch a film that resolved quicker than the main villain fight in Iron Man 2?  Yes!  Truth be told, I did.  Take that with a grain of salt though because there are many things good about this sequel too if you can look past the craptastic ending (although it is based on a true story and let’s face it not all stories have a fantastic ending).

Let’s start with the good first  We have the familiar couple of the Warrens.  I heart them.  While some may say they have a bit too much screen time in this one, I beg to differ.  The onscreen chemistry between Vera (she’s a great actress no matter where you throw her into) and Patrick is what kept me hanging in here throughout as Lorraine’s foreshadowing of her husband’s gruesome death to come kept me very invested, not to mention the inclusion of one hell of a creepy looking nun character, but I digress.  The scares, on the other hand, are increased.  That’s always a good thing (or is it?).  However, what sucked me in this time more so than with the film’s predecessor, was it’s humor.  I know it kind of sounds funny even saying you love the humor in what’s supposed to be a gloomy, serious horror film, but it was the right balance mixed with seriousness to keep me entertained and enthralled throughout…until that lackluster ending of course.  Haha!

Now let’s move on to what drove me crazy about this film.  You know, as a reviewer, you subject yourself to these films and you got to take the good with the bad.  The bad for me here was it was nothing but more of the same, more of the same cliche horror tricks and less imagination making the end result less compelling I guess.  It almost felt as if Wan tried to force as much jump-out-of-your-seat moments and tension into every single scene as possible until your nerves did not care anymore.  He seemed to employ once again every trick in the playbook and it eventually grew wearisome.  Now maybe it’s just me, but people were terrified and screaming throughout this.  However, I did not jump once.  Am I desensitized to Wan’s horror directions?  I’m thinking probably so.  Sadly, this felt more like a Insidious Chapter 2 sequel than it did a sequel to The Conjuring, which was all seriousness and no monkey business at all.  It’s that Insidious sequel feeling or vibe this movie gives off that drops it down a notch in terms of quality compared to that first installment in this assumed franchise (do we even count Annabelle?).

With all that being said, I still had a good time with this one.  Like I said, the humor, characters and cool scares kept me in the game, not to mention the tension filled way it was shot.  Wan is king at his craft, there’s no mistaken that.  He knows horror.  I just wish to God that the ending wasn’t so damn sucky.  Wan builds such an anticipation and yearn for a brilliant resolve that when it happens it’s like popping a balloon or Al Bundy having sex with Peggy, it’s just over like that and you’re left looking at your movie going partner and saying, is it really over?  Yes!  Sadly it is!  I’ll give it another chance when it come out on Blu-ray, hopefully it will even make its presence known on UHD, but until then neither my negative words about it nor anyone else’s will have any damper on this one earning some serious coin at the box office this weekend.  I mean, let’s look at it’s competition, Warcraft and Now You See Me 2.  Serious?  The Conjuring 2 for a win anybody?  Last but not least, what’s with that R-rating?  For scares?  Give me a break!  Regardless, enjoy!

The Conjuring 2 Movie Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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