Movie Review: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

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Directed by horror film veteran James Wan, The Conjuring 2 is the sequel to 2013 horror film. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise as paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren who are thrown into the public spotlight after investigating a haunting in Amityville. Meanwhile, in London, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) is disturbed to find her daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) showing supernatural signs during her nightly sleepwalking incidents.

+ Madison Wolfe as the (maybe?) possessed Janet Hodgson was my favourite actor in the film. Her various visual signs of possession (if she even is, WHAT A TWIST) were very enjoyable to watch
+ one scene in particular (an interrogation scene between Ed and what may be an evil spirit) impressed me; subtle happenings in the blurred background keep you guessing just what is happening

– I’ve never had an issue with Patrick Wilson or Vera Farmiga before, but I found both of them insufferable in this movie. Wilson in particular was seemingly just going through the motions; maybe his various horror projects are boring him?
– perhaps most importantly, this film is simply just not scary. The go-to pattern seems to be “rapid cuts between someone’s reactions and [nothing] until [something] appears next to the someone” whilst playing a scare chord or having the monster say something really loudly. Jump scares are not a substitute for good atmosphere
– it takes over an hour until the Warrens even meet the Hodgson family. I am not against a slow buildup, but I felt the events before the meetup dragged, and could have had one or two “incidents” cut without effecting the plot
– one character looks like absolutely horrible CGI. It looked like something out of a PS2 Silent Hill game and made me laugh the second it happened
– generally, the plot felt very ‘by the numbers’. There was only one plot twist (if you cold even call it that), and it felt wholly unnecessary

> I find it incredibly difficult to distinguish between memories of The Conjuring (two films), Sinister (two films), Insidious (three films) and Annabelle (one film with a second on it’s way). Annabelle is a spin-off of The Conjuring. Patrick Wilson stars in both The Conjuring and Insidious series. Throw in the use of a Ouija board in this film, and I can’t help but remember the events of Ouija. It’s difficult watching so many horror movies.

Should you see this film: No. This film had none of the scares of the first, and overall felt like an entirely pointless entry in the series. Don’t bother with this one.

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