DIRECTOR: James Wan LEAD CAST: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente SCREENWRITERS: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson STORY: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan BASED ON: The Enfield Poltergeist haunting investigated by Ed & Lorraine Warren PRODUCERS: Peter Safran, Rob Cowan, James Wan FILM EDITOR: Kirk M. Morri MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Joseph Bishara GENRE: Horror CINEMATOGRAPHER: Don Burgess PRODUCTION COMPANIES: New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Evergreen Media Group DISTRIBUTED BY: Warner Bros. LANGUAGE: English LOCATIONS: Los Angeles, California, USA; London, England UK RUNNING TIME: 134 minutes
Technical assessment: 4
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V14
It must be noted that The Conjuring 2, like its predecessor, is based on a true story taken from the Warren files. After a hiatus of six years from their Amityville horror experience, husband and wife team of paranormal investigators and authors Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) travel to north London to help Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), a single mother raising four children in a house plagued by malicious spirits. The Hodgsons are too poor to replace the furniture that came with the purchased house—a burden aggravated by the classmates’ bullying of her young son, a stutterer. All siblings of the house and their mother witness paranormal events occurring right before their eyes, terrifying them and forcing them to seek shelter in their neighbor’s house. During a media interview with the Hodgsons, the younger daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) is possessed by the ill-meaning spirit of Bill Wilkins, the previous owner of the house who had died in a chair in the corner of the living room. As Janet begins to show more signs of demonic possession, the story eventually reaches the Warrens in California, who are requested to assist the local Church in the investigation.
The Conjuring 1 (2013) is best remembered for its spine-tingling “clapper” whose somewhat comic-horrific presence in the trailer aroused the interest of horror fans worldwide. The “clapper” is nowhere to be found—or heard—in the much awaited The Conjuring 2, but the sequel is no less hair-raising. Malaysian born Australian director Wan (Saw, Insidious, Furious 7) has certainly mastered his tricks, producing yet another rarity in the horror genre: an excellent sequel with unexpected depth and tenderness. While there is no shortage of jolts, jumps, and chokeholds in this film, its best parts are found in footages that explore the effects of terror on the lives of people it touches: the haunted family, the media, the police, the Warrens. Now known as the Enfield Poltergeist case that shook the London press in 1977—curiously the same years director James Wan was born—it has since become one of the most extensively documented cases in the world’s haunting history.Perfectly cast as the Warrens, Farmiga and Wilson embody the real life compassion of the Warrens. In roles performed with sensitivity by Wilson and Farmiga, the Warrens come to a case with feet solidly planted in their Catholic faith. They are not simply demonologists or exorcists out to fight evil and emerge as heroes; they are keenly aware that while the supernatural fight between them and the devil goes on, the family-victims must be helped in the natural realm, too. In The Conjuring 2, the Warrens live with the Hodgsons during the investigation; on Christmas eve, as they all gather in the living room as an odd family, Ed picks up a guitar and croons “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”, exchanging meaningful glances with Lorraine while spoofing Elvis Presley. For the first time in the film, the Hodgsons children and their mother are happy.