I first heard the names Ed and Lorraine Warren a few years ago, while listening to an episode of the Mysterious Universe podcast. The paranormal has always been super fascinating to me, and the idea of a married couple traveling the world and saving people from hauntings was appealing to me. So when I went to see The Conjuring in the theatre, I was extremely excited, and equally nervous. I’ve seen what Hollywood can do to a true story, especially one with demons and ghosts.
It’s safe to say that I walked out of the theatre that day having been thoroughly scared, yet satisfied. Not only was The Conjuring one of the scariest films I’d seen at that point, it maintained it’s sense of realism as well. That, by itself, is quite possibly why the first film was so terrifying; and it certainly is why we are back again for round 2.
The Conjuring 2 continues the story of the Warrens, as they find themselves in Enfield, England, in the house of a single mother of four. The youngest daughter has been the center of a series of dreadful and creepy occurrences that has caught the attention of the church.
In what was meant to only be an investigation into the validity of the haunting, the Warrens quickly find themselves too involved and must fight to save the lives of this family, as well as their own.
While this movie doesn’t really push any envelopes or reinvent the wheel, it does what it sets out to do in a masterful way. From camera angles to lighting, every single element of this film is crafted to heighten the tension, and it works. Honestly, sitting in the theater felt like my body was being tricked into anxiety. During several scenes I could literally feel the adrenaline flowing as my body tensed up and the fear kicked in. It was that good.
The children are the stars of this film, especially the young Janet. Throughout the film she accurately portrays her fear and paranoia, which gives into an almost sadistic glee as she inevitably is possessed by the demon. The rest of the cast all show up to play ball too, with seemingly no weakest link; all were on point.
The one downside I noticed was the design of the demon itself. Everything in the movie was spot-on 1970’s, but the demon had a style and look to it that screamed out of place. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and it wasn’t enough to take me out of the experience, but there was something gnawing at the back of my mind during each of the scenes. I expect that I will likely be in the minority here on this one.
On the whole, The Conjuring 2 found a winning combination of story and design that will keep you in fear for the entire ride. Don’t miss this one, it is certainly the best horror film of the year (so far, at least), and likely will end up on many top lists for years to come.
Check out the trailer below, and go check this movie out asap!