The Conjuring 2, directed by James Wan, definitely wastes no time getting started. We first see famous demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively, at the Amityville house, investigating the infamous murder case. In a vision, Lorraine encounters the apparition of a demon, who threatens her with the death of her husband. Afraid of the consequences of their lifestyle, and afraid for the safety of her husband, Lorraine makes Ed promise that they will quit demonology. They quit, that is, until the Catholic Church asks them to travel to London to investigate the strange happenings at the Enfield house. Reluctantly, they agree, and investigate the possession of Janet Hodgson, an eleven year-old-girl who is allegedly possessed by the spirit of an old man.
Overall, the story had no shortness of the creep factor. There were many moments where I was clutching my husband’s hand (and he was clutching mine harder!), and there were plenty of moments where we both jumped off the couch. The cinematography was spot on, and the atmosphere of terror was very well prevalent throughout the movie. Even so, with its 2-hour running time, there were parts that I almost found myself bored. Wan took too much time to set up the story, especially when compared to its efficient and concisely terrifying predecessor. One drawn-out scene sticks out to me more than the rest – the scene where Ed starts singing Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” to the Hodgson family. The scene serves no other purpose than to show Wilson’s impeccable Elvis impersonation, as well as to show how afraid Lorraine is to lose Ed. I almost found this scene insulting to the audience, because it was as though we were being force-fed this fact again, when it was pretty obvious through the first part of the movie. It was a scene that definitely could have been cut, and no one would have missed it.
It also seemed that the terror aspect was unbalanced throughout the film. Wan focuses a lot of developing fear in the body of the film, but it almost falls flat at the end, so much so that the final showdown was anticlimactic. In the first Conjuring film, the final showdown was a process, fraught with many stages of fear and terror in a direct confrontation with the spirit. In this one, it wasn’t the same process. There was definitely an element of fear, and the spirit was certainly ugly AF, but there was not a lot of fight or tension with the spirit.
Overall, it was not a bad movie, or even a disappointing movie. If you are looking for a creepy movie with some pretty intense jump scares, this one is for you. If you are looking for a movie that stands up to the prequel, than I would have to say that this one falls a little short.
Final rating: 💀💀💀 / 5 skulls