Movie Name: The Conjuring 2
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date(s): June 7, 2016 (Premiere)/June 10, 2016 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) have made a life of investigating hauntings and horrors. After examining Amityville, Lorraine begins to have doubts about their work, but a possible haunting in London has the Warrens investigating for the church. Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) is a single mother whose daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) is being haunted by a spirit calling himself Bill Wilkins. Is Bill real or is Janet hiding something?
Directed by James Wan, The Conjuring 2 is a follow-up to the hit film The Conjuring from 2013. The movie follows Annabelle from 2014 which spun-off the original film (the Annabelle doll does have a cameo in the film). The film received strong reviews from critics and a big box office return.
I saw The Conjuring in the theater and liked it, but thought there was enough problems with the films that I didn’t rush out to see Annabelle or this sequel. While I didn’t love Annabelle, I thought this movie was kind of fun and fixed some of the problems with the original film.
The original movie had a lot of dead spots, predictable scares, and an ending which was over-the-top. This sequel flows better and though the ending is still pretty crazy and over-the-top, it feels slightly more justified and suspenseful. The starting potion of the film in which Ed and Lorraine investigate “The Amityville Horror” feels a bit obligatory and it also feels like a tease since the last movie seemed to indicate more about that investigation than a quick cameo.
While I enjoy Vera Farmiga’s Lorraine, I think Patrick Wilson’s Ed is rather bland. I like the family they are trying to help and I think Madison Wolfe is strong as the possessed (and scared) Janet Hodgson. Franka Potente of Run Lola Run and The Bourne Identity has a small role and I hoped a bigger part because I generally like what she brings to a film.
Visually, the movie remains scary. The movie went from a PG-13 to an R, but I don’t feel that the movie pushed that rating far enough. The scares of the movie are rather generic and predictable, but that doesn’t stop them from making you jump…between the nun and the crooked man, the movie is loaded with horrifying characters.
The Conjuring 2 is a fun little horror movie that will provide jumps and scares. There are better horror movies, but the film is still rather strong and you don’t really need to see the original Conjuring to understand the plot of the film. The success of the movie means not only a Conjuring 3 could be on the way, but a spin-off movie called The Nun based on the demon Valak character (along with a second Annabelle film for 2017).