Out of all the horror genres, it is the possession movies that scare the hell out of me. I’m not easily rattled by most horror films but I definitely left the theater with a spiked heart rate. Maybe that is due to the fact that this story is based on real events. Truth is always scarier than fiction. With The Conjuring 2, director James Wan “conjures” up a superior sequel.
In the film, we are re-united with paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Shortly after their investigation in Amityville, (Yes! Amityville gets a head nod!) Lorraine wants to call it quits. Understandably so as the nature of their job is extremely stressful. I mean, if I had a demonic nun following me around I’d probably retire too. Then again, is it possible to lock away an ability like that? Hmmm, sounds like the Warrens are in it for the long haul. We wouldn’t have it any other way though, would we? They are called to take on a case in Enfield, North London and Ed talks Lorraine into doing so. There we meet the Hodgson family. Peggy Hodgson, (Frances O’Connor) is a single mother struggling to raise four children on her own; Janet (Madison Wolfe), Margaret (Lauren Esposito), Billy (Benjamin Haigh), and Johnny (Patrick McAuley). If that isn’t bad enough, an evil spirit is terrorizing them. The youngest daughter Janet seems to be the most susceptible to the entity’s antics. So, it begins to focus her for its own sick pleasure. Did you hear that? Yup, the shit has hit the fan.
Not only does The Conjuring 2 surpass the original but it also ups the ante for demonic possession flicks. While I feel The Exorcist remains untouched by competing movies, The Conjuring 2 comes pretty close. The only difference is that while The Exorcist consistently keeps the viewer in a state of unease, The Conjuring 2 has soft spots here and there to provide the viewer some relief.
The main reason The Conjuring 2 rocked my socks off is because I felt like I was really there. The camera angles allow the viewer to become completely immersed in the film. You feel the same emotions the characters are experiencing. Considering this is based on a true story, I thought this was an epic method of instilling fear in people. Speaking of fear, this movie has that covered. You will be scared. You will jump. You may even have nightmares. Okay, you will have nightmares. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Also, without the stellar performances of the actors, The Conjuring 2 just wouldn’t have been the same. While Wilson and Farmiga are brilliant as always, Madison Wolfe blew me away. Playing Janet was no easy feat. It amazes me how someone so young can take on a role like that and make it believable. I was genuinely terrified of her and so was the entire audience! That girl is going places. Another plus is that people who watch it will find that it is extremely relatable. Maybe not in the sense of being possessed, but in the fine art of being believed. Early on in the film, Janet gets caught holding a cigarette while at school that actually belonged to her friend. She gets in trouble with her mother who does not believe she was not smoking. How many of us have been accused of something we haven’t done? No matter how hard we plead our case, no one believes us despite the fact that we are actually telling the truth. So, I guess you can imagine Janet’s credibility being questioned. People tend to be super skeptical when it comes to the supernatural. Poor Janet! I loved this movie, but if there was anything I would change it would have to be The Crooked Man. He is definitely clever but just not for this film. This is a rated R movie and he just seemed a little more PG-13 to me. Don’t get me wrong as this movie is flipping scary!! I just think a scarier character should have been created to go with the others.
The Conjuring 2 is a movie that will be talked about for years to come. The eerie atmosphere is created to perfection and cannot be denied. I still cannot get that demon nun out of my mind. Go watch it!