Technically, The Conjuring already had a sequel in the unfortunate prequel entitled Annabelle. However, like the fourth movie in the Jason Bourne franchise, many of us like to pretend that it doesn’t actually exist. Instead of accepting that one, we’ll just look at The Conjuring 2 as the only movie connected to the 2014 smashing success since it’s actually fun even though it comes with a few of its own flaws.
Based on another actual case from renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farming), The Conjuring 2 sees the couple travel to North London. It’s here where they meet a single mother and her four children who were recently trying to deal with the demands of normal life before being introduced to the stresses that the paranormal can provide.
Unlike most other horror pictures, there’s an obvious attempt to turn these Conjuring movies into actual movies with multidimensional characters and full-fledged stories. As someone who wants to see the best horror has to offer, I can appreciate that. It’s not everyday where something like is honestly attempted.
As cool as this is, there is a flaw in doing this in The Conjuring 2 that prevents it from being rated even higher by me. While the attempt to make this into a true narrative driven picture is genuine, the movie does run longer than it should because of it. This turns the film into something slow at times, but it’s not slow enough to dampen it a whole lot from my perspective.
What extends this are features like the love story between the two main characters. We know that these two are supposed to be inseparable, but they don’t need to keep reminding us of this. If you’ve seen The Conjuring and know at least a little bit about these two, you know they were together for years anyway. Cut this part out, and you get a shorter movie that’s also better due to it being more efficient.
Another thing that lengthens this more is the fact that it takes a while for the Warrens to even reach their destination of Enfield, England. Before they get there, we’re asked to watch the build up that leads to these two paranormal experts heading across the ocean. That’s to be expected, but speeding this up was the way to go.
What makes this pacing issue more tolerable are the amount of scares that are included throughout the picture. While, we’re waiting for the main event to take place, we’re offered up some features that actually work quite well. If these portions weren’t included or if they were significantly reduced, The Conjuring 2 would have been just as empty as that Annabelle sequel/prequel.
Now there’s a good amount of stuff here that audiences will be familiar with. If you’ve seen any scary movies about possessions, hauntings, etc., much of what’s seen during The Conjuring 2 is to be anticipated. With that being the case, it works because it’s handled in a manner that allows for it to be engaging in ways that make it all worth it for audiences.
In spite of the clear issues, James Wan and the gang ultimately succeed by being able to conjure up some entertainment by allowing this sequel to do what sequels are known to do. There’s not much in terms of anything new or incredibly inventive here in The Conjuring 2, but what is being showcased is good enough and deep enough to warrant a look if you’re into scary movies.
Director: James Wan
Maria Doyle Kennedy
Film Length: 134 minutes
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
- Score - 7/107/10