The Conjuring 2

A horror masterpiece

For two hours, I am held spellbound by one of the most frighteningly told horror tales to ever grace the silver screen.

This is my personal opinion of course, but my word what a movie! James Wan once again shows that he is the new king of horror if there ever was one.

Story

The Conjuring 2 tells the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren and their foray into the poltergeist activity occurring with the Hodgson family in the London Borough of Enfield during the summer of 1977.

A little girl is seemingly haunted by the spirit of a deceased who died in the house the Hodgson family now reside and The Warrens are brought in to investigate by the church and to help if they can.

As they go along and begin their interviews and research, the incidents begin to escalate and they have a growing suspicion that an even more sinister force may be behind the haunting.

Technique

James Wan knows how to shoot a horror movie. He doesn’t rely on jump scares, he sets up each shot meticulously; panning between the environment and the characters and allows the tension to build with each scene.

You know what to expect, but he sets it up in such a way that you are still scared out of your wits when said scene finally bears fruition. This happens often right from the opening scene down to the last act.

As I write this, a scene plays out in my head and another takes over it and I can’t for the life of me decide which is better. You have to see it for yourself to believe it.

Horror directors need to take a look at this work and stop using the trope of jump scares because eventually, fans of the genre come to expect it and you lose whatever momentum you may have built at the beginning of the film while setting it up.

And trust me the tension builds. There are breaks here and there to lighten the mood and give us breaks from the emotional tension happening in our heads and this stops the movie from being heavy to watch. It has just the right amount of tension and withdrawal and two hours pass by in a flash.

Acting

There are only three main characters to take note of here; Ed and Lorraine Warren played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who reprise their roles from The Conjuring; Janet Hodgson played superbly by Madison Wolfe.

The rest of the cast are simply by the numbers and other than to give a more fleshed out state for the film, they are more background noise than not.

Madison Wolfe shines in this film. The makeup giving to her gives the look of a girl who is tired of everything going on around her and who just wants it all to stop. The way she creaks when she’s being possessed, the way her voice sounds when she upset gives depth to her character and you feel for her as she goes through her living nightmare.

I know I’ll be burnt for saying this, but the first time I saw Patrick Wilson was in Insidious and let’s just say he feels the same here. Not to say he isn’t good in the role, because he is and he lends a strength to the character and makes you believe that in a frightening situation even when he knows he might lose his life, he will still follow through and do what is right and not what is easy.

Vera Farmiga is for me the core that holds this movie together. The strength, the wise one, the woman who has seen it all and who has a quiet but sure way of carrying herself.

She’s not a woman that frightens easily so when you see her genuinely scared, it grips you and you wonder what she will do in this situation. Will she whimper away and wait for someone to save her?

Not by a long shot! In the midst of a dire situation when you know she is scared out of her wits and filled with so much fear, she faces are fears head-on bursting into danger without a care for herself only thinking that she has to do what she must to save the one that she loves.

The nuances of her face are priceless. Little movements on her face belies what is going on underneath, but if you look closely, you can see the cogs turning in her head trying to puzzle things out. Maybe I’m reading too much into all of it, but when I see her face and when she speaks, these are things that I see.

Music

If there is anything to be said for James Wan and the crew that he works with, it would be to say that he knows the right blend of sound to fill each scene with the right amount of tension.

Whether it’s for a buildup or a stretched out scene with furniture and whatnot flying across the set, the soundtrack feels sublimated.

It attaches itself to the scene in question and it just flows that after a while. You stop noticing it and just watch what you see on-screen.

Conclusion

Finally, if you are a fan of horror and/or James Wan, I don’t need to say anymore. Odds are all those who have wanted to see it already have. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

I can’t recommend it enough. I liked everything I saw. Maybe someone a lot more nitpick will find some fault with it and I’m sure there are but I didn’t see them.

Is this because I am biased or is it because I genuinely enjoyed it? I say I genuinely enjoyed it. I mean I watched this with my blinds closed, the lights turned off and in pure quiet and for two hours nothing else mattered.

This is quite the lengthy conclusion so I’ll end it with this: there’s no reason not to see this movie unless you don’t like horror.

Take my word for it.

Final Score: 10/10