MOVIE REVIEW: The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Haunting

By Dixielord

James Wan returns with a follow up to his hit The Conjuring with The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Haunting. Like the original, The Conjuring 2 is based on a case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, demonologists and paranormal investigators. The Warrens are probably most famous for their investigation of what would become known as The Amityville Horror and the movie based on it. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) and Patrick Wilson (The Ruins, Insidious) return to star as The Warrens.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring 2

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring was a hit, both at the box office and with horror fans. Sequels, however rarely love up to the original. While I ended up enjoying The Conjuring 2, I do feel it was a step down from the first film. The Conjuring earned its R rating due to a pervasive sense of dread that ran through the entire film, a dark, oppressive feeling that left me uneasy, and made me fear for the main characters, even though I know in real life they survived the incident.

Upside down, the way you turn me The Conjuring 2

Upside down, the way you turn me
The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 never achieved that level of unease. That's not saying it didn't have it's moments. There were scenes, especially involving the kids that were genuinely scary. The possession scene near the end reminded me a lot of Reagan's possession in The Exorcist. But the scenes, especially in the first half of the film were too far and in between to keep that dread going. It needed that to keep me at a heightened sense of unease, to keep me on the edge of my seat. That's when a jump scare really works. It's when all scares really work in a film.

The demonic nun was fun, and I'll admit I jumped a few times with her scenes. She was visually impressive and the effects were well done. However the “crooked man” CGI was really bad. It reminded me of animation from The Wall, or a Monty Python skit. That's not knocking those two properties, both were great in their time, but neither was horror, and it's a good 30 plus years since either s prime. The ending two was a bit of a let down for me. Sorry but as a horror and possession fan, that ending is all too common and clichéd.

But I still enjoyed the film. Mostly because of two reasons. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. This was as much a movie about the Warrens, and their scenes made the film. I have a feeling that I like Vera and Patrick's version if the couple more than I would like the real couple. My one real experience with the real Lorraine Warren makes me think she is far more of a religious zealot than her movie counterpart. But I guess when you are dealing with demons from hell, it's best to not be wishy washy about your beliefs.

The real Ed and Lorraine Warren subjects of The Conjuring 2

The real Ed and Lorraine Warren subjects of The Conjuring 2.

Between the love story of the Warrens, and the couple of really bad CGI scenes, there were some good scares. There were some honestly creepy scenes involving the kids, especially Janet ( New Orleans resident Madison Wolfe). It just doesn't hold the fear and tension throughout the entire film.

Janet's just exorcising her rights in The Conjuring 2

Janet's just exorcising her rights in The Conjuring 2.

The Conjuring 2 isn't a bad film, I don't consider it a waste of my money, but as a horror film, it is a bit of a let down. When compared to the original, that let down is even harder. Fans of the Warrens will still want to see it. Fans of Vera and Patrick will really enjoy it, as will casual horror fans who don't like more extreme or unnerving films. But as a scary, disturbing horror film, it fumbles pretty hard. Unless you are a real fan of the Warrens, or more so Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, wait till it hits Linnet.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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