“The Conjuring 2” Review

The Conjuring 2 is also a love story! Ok, before you flip out, hear us. How often do you see the director investing in the love and emotional bonding between the protagonists in a movie about the paranormal, albeit in a time-constraint manner, but still? How often do you see an Elvis Presley song being performed in the most delightfully romantic manner without any customary goosebumps inducing scene the very next second? The unsuspecting audience was prepared for spine-chills, popcorn drops, but not for some mushy coo-cooing and few preaches about “family stays together”.  It definitely comes as a welcome change to the genre which has been guilty of dwelling more on knee jerks per minute kind of film-making rather than the preferred old school, yet effective, build-up to action method.

They say, lightning does not strike twice, but frightening surely does, with James Wan at the helm.

They say, lightening does not strike twice, but frightening surely does, with James Wan at the helm.Wan returns to direct the second outing of the Warrens, Ed and Lorraine, as paranormal investigators, this time fighting demons who terrorize a woman and her 4 children in London. With it, returns the genre-defining elements used by Wan to such great effect in movies like Insidious and the first instalment of The Conjuring, like the 70s set-up, dilapidated building, build-up play, palpable fear of anticipation and silence. Wan is a master at working with haunted houses and possessed kids. This time, he has Madison Wolfe as the pre-teen who has been victimized by a spirit. There is something terrifying about kids sleepwalking or levitating and horror movies in general love to show troubled kids, James Wan being no different. But what makes this story grim is the fact that it is based on (not entirely, we assume) a real life incident that took place in Enfield, England in 1977.

There is something terrifying about kids sleepwalking or levitating and horror movies in general love to show troubled kids, James Wan being no different.

Similar in setting to its highly successful predecessor, The Conjuring 2 revolves around the misfortunes of a family of a single mother, Peggy and her 4 children. When the unusual occurrences torment the family, it becomes perfect fodder for the media and also for theorists and debunkers. This gets the Church involved, but they are more sceptical than helping. This lands the case in the laps of the Warrens. Lorraine, the wife, is initially unwilling, because of her troubled visions about a nurse and the death of her husband if they continue to seek and bust the spirits. But eventually she budges, as Ed assures her that this will only be an investigation.

Unlike the first movie, the character development of the mother is slightly undercooked. Carolyn, the mother in The Conjuring was both defiant and possessed which added an extra element of horror, since being the mother, she could never hurt her children. Here, the character of Peggy is left a bit helpless. Also, the director gets a bit carried away with his story by including a few spooks too many, like the kid’s visions of the crooked man and the babbling of the old man’s soul. Annabelle as a haunted entity worked well in the spin off movie because of the overall dreaded look and the accompanying music, but here, the Crooked Man element is just extraneous.

The incidents which had occurred in Amityville are part of urban legend but are also looked at with suspicion and termed as hoax by the majority.

An ode to the Amityville haunting is shown in the prologue. The incidents which had occurred in Amityville are part of urban legend but are also looked at with suspicion and termed as hoax by the majority. The director alludes to such detractors with the character of Anita ( Franka Potente) who debunks ghosts and terms the entire incident as a show put on by Janet, the possessed kid and her mother.

Overall, this is a worthy sequel in the land where sequels are just money spinning tools forced down the throats of fans. James Wan is a master craftsman in the horror genre and here, he innovates a little and tries to bring back the same scares which made the 2014 released The Conjuring a mega blockbuster. He succeeds mostly.

Side NoteWe are confused like many others as to the resolution of such horror stories. It appears that one needs to be a Christian to have the luxury of showing the Cross to subdue the spirit. Also, a lot of horror and terror goes in vain in the final minutes of such movies when a spell is being read out or the Bible being quoted and behold the spirit running with its tail between its legs. Are these the only standard spirit shooing ways? Where did the directors get these solutions?  “5 methods to exorcise the low self esteem ghost”? the questions linger…

gobblscore—7/10

gobblpoint—it is a respectable sequel to the Conjuring. Could have been better in terms of treatment and character definition, but sometimes the director has to put in a lot of stuff inside 120 minutes only because it’s a sequel and things need to be bigger. Just Hollywood things. Pardonable.

Disclaimer: The images used in this post are the sole property of the makers of this movie and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever

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