The Conjuring 2 is one of those special films that manages to make you care about what happens to the characters. Now, the film does miss the mark in some areas, and deploys every horror trope in the book, but it is still solid. Clocking in at two and a half-hours could be why the ending felt rushed and unfulfilling. With that said, the plot is well balanced and the performances are genuine. Director James Wan does well when building a slow-burning tension that puts you on the edge of your seat.
Many Unexpected Moments
Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are trying to kick the ghost hunting habit. While working on the Amityville case, Lorraine has a vision about her husband that frightens her to the core. All she wants to do now is quit to keep this vision from becoming reality. Meanwhile, across the pond in Enfield, England, the Hodgson family is experiencing some strange happenings in their new home. As things begin to unravel, it is revealed that a powerful demon has targeted the middle child of the Hodgson family, Janet. Once again Lorraine and Ed must go ward off demonic spirits, but this one is far more dangerous than any they have ever encountered.
Sure, it sounds just like the first Conjuring film, but there are many unexpected moments with jumps and scares that help bring the story full circle.
Actors And Performances
What makes the film entertaining are the performances. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have comfortable chemistry as the tortured clairvoyant and the supporting, husband. Farmiga and Wilson are wonderful actors as they play their roles with patience, confidence and a sense of urgency. You care about them as a couple and you care about their struggle. Aside from the two senior actors, the breakout star of The Conjuring 2 is young actress Madison Wolfe. Wolfe is Janet Hodgson, the vulnerable young soul the demon so desperately wants. Most of the time I find children in horror films annoying, but Wolfe demands your attention, and commands the spotlight in her possession scenes.
The Conjuring 2 Is A Fantastic Escape
James Wan has come a long way since the Saw series by trading blood and gore for content and substance--but this is not a perfect film. It's hard to understand why Wan used the some of the most annoying and unbelievable horror tropes to move the plot forward. Young children doing things by themselves, people investigating things without protection, people splitting up, its so tiring to see this tropes over and over again. Then the showdown with the main demon seemed rushed with almost no push-back from either side. It's like they realized the film was already too long and had to speed things up. It's unbearable to watch a good film to fall flat right when its suppose to make the most impact.
The Conjuring 2 is enjoyable enough that it's easy to forgo a few errors for the overall film. If you like slow, steady, suspenseful horror films, this is one you should check out!