Written by Nelson Cumming
The Conjuring 2 is a rare movie that will be loved by many viewing circles equally. Director James Wan has a little bit of the Hitchcockian psyche in terms of the spirit and enthusiasm in making horror movies and experimenting with them.
The reason being is because Wan did not go the ABC route of a horror story. While The Conjuring 2 is linear, it changes the order of things that kept it interesting and fresh. One of the things The Conjuring 2 does is great character development before the final act. While I think it’s generally bad for movies to do this, Wan made it believable.
Like Ouija: Origin of Evil, the movie revolves around a little girl called Janet who gets possessed through playing with an Ouija board. Even though Madison Wolfe is good at playing Janet, The Conjuring 2 does not solely rely on her to make The Conjuring 2 as good as it is.
Instead, there is a cast that all have good parts to play that added to the story. Most important were paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively) who, along with a journalist Maurice Grosse, are the only people who believe the family’s story of a demonic spirit. Because of the shared belief system, the relationship between the characters grow. Wan, as I have already mentioned, lets this play out.
The other great thing about The Conjuring 2 is it never runs out of ideas. A horror movie at 130 minutes is rare and there are about seven horror scenes that are almost like set pieces. Each scene was different and they went in between five and ten minutes making every scene feel like a story in of itself.
The movie was really scary because of Wan’s deliberate offbeat timing. He knows the spots where you expect the scares to come and does the jump scare a couple of seconds later. That way when I started to relieve myself, thinking nothing scary happened is when Wan strikes us.
The only real problem I have with the Conjuring 2 was pacing issues. The first 40 minutes is a mixture of good horror scenes interspersed with a boring plodding story development. At 130 minutes, the filmmakers could have easily cut 20 minutes off. It would have been a cleaner, tighter film.
Overall I cannot put much crap on The Conjuring 2. The last hour was incredible. I cannot believe just how well it was made with the way James Wan did it. Wan is confident in his abilities and it shows on the screen. It is a great film for Halloween if you pass the 40-minute mark. ****