The Conjuring 2 Review: Solid Story with Nice Scares

Let me start by saying that, although I like to write in the horror genre, I haven’t really been “into” scary films since I was a kid. Despite this, I decided to go see The Conjuring 2 last weekend (by myself), and I’m glad I did.

First off, this is a sequel to The Conjuring and is a supposedly true accounting of a haunting that real-life demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren, investigated. It occurs in the UK, and was known as the Enfield Poltergeist haunting–often referred to as England’s Amityville.

I was expecting a creepy ghost story that followed the now-standard tropes of the genre, such as the three-second pause after a character feels “safe,” before flash cutting to the ghost or the evil being or whatever jumping out and grabbing/scaring/killing/possessing the unsuspecting victim. I was happily surprised to instead find a solid story told through a layered and interesting plot. There were plenty of times everyone (including me) jumped out of their seats, but there was enough of a tale to make this movie much more than just a series of scares.

conjuring2The acting was excellent all around as was the time-period-accurate setting. The two investigators (Ed and Lorraine), the possessed little girl, her siblings, the mom, the UK investigator–all of these roles were well executed by the actors. And, honestly, the guy who played Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) was funny and charismatic, giving the movie an extra depth and warmth I wasn’t expecting.

No spoilers here, but as I mentioned before, the plot has some layers to it, and there are some nice reveals as it unfolds. The only real complaint I have is that once the final bit of information is revealed, the movie wraps up very quickly. I would have liked to have been given the chance to savor the conclusion longer.

Also, although there are no credit scenes, per se, they do pepper the end credits with photos of the real Ed and Lorraine as well as photos comparing the real characters to the actors who portray them in the movie. Lastly, while watching the credits, we get to hear snippets (allegedly) from the real recording of the possessed girl from the story, and let me tell you that I thought the original recording was scarier than the movie, only because I assumed that it was the real real deal and had no special effects applied to it.

I recommend seeing this film if you like supernatural/paranormal thrills and/or want to see a solid, well-acted movie, with a good plot. I am glad I saw it in the theater, although be warned–when people are afraid, they tend to talk more to relieve their own tension, so you may have to put up with more chatter than usual if you see this in the theater. Enjoy!

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