The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2

 

The Conjuring 2

2016. Directed by James Wan.  

Wan delivers another entry into the horror titan Conjuring mythology with The Conjuring 2.  Using the tried and true tropes of the first film, The Conjuring 2 expands on the ideas presented in the first film and focuses on a personal battle for the Warrens.  

In 1976, the Warrens travel across the pond to aid a single mother of four who have come under attack by a supernatural presence that threatens to destroy not only the children, but the very house they live in.  They get more than they bargain for as what begins as routine haunting rapidly excels into a battle between faith and the ultimate evil. 

The centerpiece of this film is the cinematography of Don Burgess.  Horror franchises tend to use certain gimmicks to get the scares and this film tragically falls into that trap, however, Burgess's command of the camera overcomes the cliches by focusing on the idea of what is there and not the reality.   Things move from beyond the screen, ghosts loom in long corridors and in the shadows, but thankfully, for the most part they are left to the imagination.  Elanor Sabaduquia's amazing make up effects on the monsters are a wonder to behold, but they also manage to rob the terror of the imagination with their reveals.  

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson continue to display a growing chemistry as the Warrens.  Wilson in particular is the standout with his mostly subtle application of faith and a believable unyielding amount of empathy for those in need.  Bonnie Aarons demonic nun is a good, albeit in the wheelhouse addition to the Warren case files and managed to frighten audiences so well, a spin off is in the works.  However, it is the Crooked Man that eclipses the other horrors on display due to an intricate use of shadows and 

Joe Dzuban's sound editing manages to save the film in the overlong final act.  After all the visual tricks have been used to exhaustion, it's the creepy sounds and voices that carry the story to it's somewhat predictable conclusion.  Joseph Bisara's returned to score the sequel and doesn't disappoint with his unsettling approach.  

Available now for digital purchase, The Conjuring 2 is a solid paint by numbers sequel that continues the blockbuster franchise in a check the box manner.  If you enjoyed The Conjuring, then you'll enjoy this film as it covers very similar territory.  Wan continues to be the Hollywood horror darling, he delivers his latest offering with commitment and panache.

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