James Wan introduced a new generation to real life 1970’s ghost hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren in the creepy haunting tale The Conjuring. Even though audiences had to deal with the silly Peterson family led by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston, Wan gave us an interesting throwback look with the husband and wife team played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga fighting the supernatural with 1970’s technology. In the sequel The Conjuring 2, the Warrens take on more evil spirits across the pond in 1977 England with a family that is a lot less annoying than the previous Perron clan and is in desperate need of help from the famed paranormal experts.
Wan has shown a talent as a director by creating anxiety with simple mind tricks we can all relate to. Everyone has had a moment when they thought they heard a voice or a saw a shadow you could have sworn was following your every move. Wan uses your average scare tricks like furniture moving and door slamming still, but it’s the quiet moments before the phantom knocking at the door that makes you hold your breath in anticipation. The Conjuring 2 can be a slow burn at times during its 133 minute running time, but the steady pace helps build the tension for when the all out chaos begins.
The scares are fun in The Conjuring 2, but it’s the performances of Wilson and Farmiga as the Warrens, which helps make the sequel an improvement on the original. The Warrens are dealing with their own personal demons after working in the home where the Amityville horror took place and decide to come out of retirement to help a young girl named Janet (Madison Wolfe) and her family who are being threatened by forces not of this world. Wan adds an entertaining mystery element this time around as to what is causing this and whether the people the Warrens have helped in the past and present were actually telling the truth. The second guessing makes for a better viewing experience, because quite frankly there are elements of this story which are hard to believe.
The new location and family makes for a more thrilling experience this time around in The Conjuring 2. The scares are better, the acting from our haunting victims is a major improvement and the final act really brings it as the Warrens take down the evil forces in a physical struggle that will leave you sleeping with one eye open. The acting from Farmiga, Wilson and especially Madison Wolfe as the troubled young girl make this more than just your average supernatural thriller with doors slamming and figures in the mirror. If you’re looking for smart scares and tension you can cut a knife with, then check out The Conjuring 2.
Overall, I give The Conjuring 2 a score of 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell