In 2013 James Wan’s supernatural horror The Conjuring, based on a case by real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, was a box office hit. Now the Warrens return with another real life case they investigated. But can it produce the same spooky success?
In 1977 London, the Hodgson family encounter strange disturbances in their house, particularly centred around the second daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe). When the ghostly happenings become too much they reach out for help which eventually this leads to Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) travelling to London. But can they save the family before it’s too late and will they put themselves at risk too?
Before I give my review on the movie I have to say that my viewing of the movie was hampered by the most noisiest people ever in the cinema. Coming in late, eating so loudly and constant talking for the first twenty minutes of the movie. It did spoil the tension somewhat. Luckily they did quieten down after a while which allowed me to settle into the scares.
Like the first movie The Conjuring 2 is good at building a suspenseful atmosphere and embodying dread at every turn. There are plenty of jump scares but they are mostly used effectively. Some of the best scares are in the simplest scenes like in Lorraine’s dreams, but they also help advance the plot. The film is also better when using practical effects and the few times that CGI is used it’s is unconvincing.
The series other strengths is Farmiga and Wilson as the Warrens. Its refreshing having a nice, normal (ish), happily married couple as protagonists, and they are a pair that you want to root for. Newcomer Wolfe is also good as the tormented Janet. Its not quite up to the standard of the first movie but the Warrens’ extensive case files are ripe for a movie franchise.
Rating 3.5/5 – a good summer scare, as long as the audience isn’t too distracting!