The Conjuring 2 Review: More scares than I can handle

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The Warrens are back! Source: Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

Following the case that brought about the rise of their paranormal investigative career, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) is haunted by a vision that scares her deeply. Wanting to take a break to prevent her vision from becoming a reality, she and her husband, Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson), decide to lay low for a bit – only accepting appearances at lectures and consulting instead of investigating. They are eventually
pulled back into full-time investigation when a priest comes to them with a case in Enfield, London, concerning Janet Hodgson, an 11-year old girl. As the case has become somewhat of a media circus, the Warrens agree to make a trip to London only to assess the situation. But, what turns out to be a possible hoax becomes something bigger, forcing Lorraine to face her frightening vision head-on.

I hadn’t been much of a fan of The Conjuring, though there were some scenes that did creep me out. Because of that, I went in with pretty low expectations as I’m more of an Insidious fan (that being my all-time favorite horror franchise after all). But I have to give this film credit – The Conjuring 2 exceeded my expectations and scared the bejeezus out of me.

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“It’s a paranormal problem, right? Not a boy problem?” Source: Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

The one thing I really loved about both Conjuring films were the opening scenes in which they dealt with the conclusion of another case. Much like The Conjuring‘s beginning with Annabelle, The Conjuring 2 began with a snippet from a seance in the Amityville house. It was a pleasant surprise for me as I was expecting the movie to dive straight into the Enfield case. But looking back at the entirety of the film, this was an essential piece of the plot that had to be included. And just like the popularity with giving Annabelle her own film, we might just be looking at a possible spin-off off an Amityville movie (the would-be 11th in a long-standing franchise of films of the same subject).

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“Honey, I love you but that is no Picasso piece.” Source: Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

In all honesty, I never knew a thing about The Enfield case until I found out The Conjuring was going to base their next movie off it. Led by curiosity, I googled the term ‘the enfield haunting’ and had a little bit more of an understanding. It was definitely one filled with controversies and from what I was reading, it seemed a little bit
uneventful. There wasn’t much ‘OMG’ moments in reading the summary of the real haunting and it frankly made my expectations really low for The Conjuring 2.

But, knowing Hollywood, they’ll probably add a bit of meat to beef up their story. And it didn’t disappoint – even when I take ‘based on a true story’ pretty seriously.

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“It’s behind me, isn’t it?” Source: Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

The scare factors for this film were not as relatable as Insidious 3 but it was good enough to give me the heebie-jeebies. The most impressionable scare scene for me was when Lorraine gets trapped in Ed’s study with the dude in the Nun habit. I am not that afraid of jump-scares but I absolutely hate scary scenes that mess with your mind. In this case, Lorraine chases after the spirit to the study but doesn’t find it inside. Instead, she sees Ed’s life-like portrait of the spirit and wonders if she had been seeing things. And then, lo and behold, the shadow of the spirit appears walking pass Lorraine towards the portrait. I literally kept repeating ‘GTFO lady, GTFO!’. But of
course, she doesn’t leave and everyone gets scared shitless.

Aside from the scares of the film, I liked that they showed a bit of the relationship Ed and Lorraine had. It was especially endearing to see how much the couple loved each other even when they are facing extreme paranormal dangers. I actually found myself worrying more about Ed during the investigation than Janet.

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Stellar performance by Madison Wolfe. Source: Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.

I feel that Madison Wolfe deserves special mention for her acting chops that not only challenged her ability to keep speaking in a British accent but also to act as a possessed child. Playing Janet must have been quite a feat and if she’s able to handle a role like this at such a young age, I’m sure her acting future’s going to be pretty bright.

In my opinion, The Conjuring 2 has certainly outdone itself and I frankly can’t wait for The Conjuring 3 (please say there’ll be one!). But be warned, after watching this, the image of the Nun will still be present in your memory and would possibly resurface to scare you when you’re alone. You’ve been warned.

Rating:

starstarstarstar

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