The Conjuring 2 review: Awesome Horror

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A much-anticipated sequel to the 2013 blockbuster, the conjuring 2 has defied expectations and went to be one of the scariest movie experiences for every audience member.

The movie is based on the Enfield poltergeist case, where an 11-year-old girl named Janet Hodgson is haunted by the spirit of Bill Wilkes, a 72-year-old man who died quietly on a couch located in the corner of the room. The Enfield poltergeist went to be one of the most covered paranormal incidents in media history thus conjuring belief in the occult. Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are asked to travel to Enfield London to investigate the haunting of 11-year-old Janet (Madison Wolfe) by Fr Gordon (Steve Coulter). Enfield poltergeist haunting is highly controversial due to the immense commercialisation by the media, theories put forward by psychologist Anita Gregory (Franka Potente) who claims that the haunting is fabricated by Hodgsons, and that Janet is a ventriloquist. Ed and Lorraine themselves are in the middle of media scrutiny where their investigations related to Amityville is claimed to be a hoax. Their stay in Enfield turns out to be challenging for the Warrens and for Hodgson family.

After watching many back-to-back old school cliched horror flicks, it is nice to finally watch something that is both nerve-wracking and suspenseful with a positive outcome at the end. The conjuring 2 is better than it’s predecessor in terms of the plot structure and the presence of elements that it is intriguing, to keep the viewers at the edge of the seats or it might scare them out of their seats. The conjuring (2013) is more of a straight forward frightening movie with less or no depth, the conjuring 2 introduced a whole new world that challenges the viewer’s ability to sit through. The movie is taken in a cool tone, a clear contrast to its predecessor.

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The presence of scares in a dark corridor alone does not make up for a horror film, the conjuring introduced an essence that makes it different in terms of presentation with the continuous camera movement, presentation of the supernatural forces and the characters who face the hauntings.  However, the most annoying aspect about the cinematography is the usage of less/ no lights during the striking scenarios, that is cliched as dark scenes will turn out as more annoying than intriguing. And there are infinitesimal references to horror films like exorcist (the “interview” scene), exorcist the beginning (upside down cross), unborn and a nightmare on elm street (the sequence where Janet finds herself stuck to the ceiling, in her dream). Some of the frights are predictable but even then unpredictable ones make R rating absolutely essential.

In this movie, we get to see more brilliant moves from Lorraine and Ed, as they investigate the haunting and find out the result through analysis and quick thinking. Vera Farmiga as always,  lively in her role. We see Lorraine compassion and dedication in her eyes, and she has her heroic moments towards the end of the film. Lorraine reveals what she saw during the exorcism of Maurice Grosse, something that traumatized her to the extent that she fell into depression for eight days. The reason is cogent, although I was a tad bit disappointed that my theory was inaccurate, .i.e. she saw the face of the devil in Maurice’s eyes. Ed and Lorraine’s team work is better depicted in this movie. Patrick Wilson has improved a lot in terms of facial  and vocal performance. We get to feel Ed’s fury during the first interview where they are accused of fabricating the Amityville horror with their stories. His comic timings and action scenes are adequate, adding likeliness to his cult status. Madison Wolfe delivered a remarkable performance as Janet. Her frightened looks intensify the spine chilling sequences and her facial expressions when the spirit haunts her is up to the point. But at times, she looks off the character, but it well compensated by the eerie environment created by the cinematography and the ensemble. I was very happy to see Franka Potente in her best role since Bourne series. She has a strong presence even if the character is despicable as the family suffers a lot under the influence of the malevolent and hostile super-natural presence. Gregory is seen as the antagonist in Enfield case but she is just someone who believes in her findings. But we do not see her further involvement towards the end of the film, thus leaving a large plot hole. The direction is excellent as a result of a poignant screenplay by the Hayes brothers and David Leslie Johnson, along with the befitting  cinematography, editing, art direction, and music. The “family theme” is soothing and Joseph Bishara’s music creates the sinister ghostly scenario onscreen.

I watched in the theatre with the audience who expressed their nervousness with giggles, constant chattering, and applause after every consequential moment from the movie. A family with 2 kids were discouraged from watching the movie by the ticket salesperson who claimed that the movie is too terrifying for the kids and that they might run out of the theatre screaming. I nonchalantly revealed the “blessing by priest” scenario in American theatres to them. 😛

In short words, the conjuring is definitely one of the scariest films that include no cheesy jump scares, gory violence, and mutilation of the characters depicted. The positive messages like the value of family ties, sticking up for one another, teamwork and facing fears makes it likable and better in terms of morality

4.5/5

Featured image: wallpaperinsider.com

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