I was thoroughly disappointed in this Conjuring sequel. And that wasn’t something I was expecting since the first one was a “ghost story” that did what only the old time movies about ghosts (i.e. The Haunting, The Uninvited, The Changeling) could do—scare the pants off me! But I had a feeling that first movie might be lightning-in-a-bottle, though hoping it wasn’t since Director James Wan was directing the sequel again.
I don’t know, it’s hard to tell why I was dissatisfied with the sequel. The moment the first scene started I got this weird feeling I wasn’t going to like it. No particular reason either. There are some “scares” in the film I actually jumped at, but for the most part, I watched detached and not caring what was happening on screen. I simply could not get into the story.
I wonder, though, if it was a subconscious reaction (now consciously acknowledged as I write this review) to learning this past summer that the Warrens may indeed have been grade-A charlatans. This angle is briefly touched upon in the movie during a talk show they’re appearing on, but some of the news I came across on the web made me feel disillusioned with them. The paranormal has interested me since I was a kid and the first book I ever read that involved the Warrens was The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career Of Ed & Lorraine Warren (1980); I still have it too, along with a few others they either penned or were the subject of. I almost threw them all out, but didn’t. Then, on the other hand, when I think of the first movie, it just seems so much more engaging and scarier than this one. Regardless of whether the Warrens were scam artists or not they make great “characters” for this franchise, and the actors who play them, Patrick Wilson (Ed) and Vera Farmiga (Lorraine), fit the roles perfectly you you like watching them on the screen.
Still a period piece taking place in the 70s (not surprising since they were in their “investigating” prime back then) it opens up with the Warrens in the middle of investigating the Amityville murders and subsequent “haunting.” While Lorraine is doing a “psychic sweep” of the house (seeing Ron DeFeo, jr, execute his family) she’s psychically assaulted by a demonic force disguised as a horrific looking nun (this “nun”is also getting it’s own movie). She’s so traumatized she recommends to Ed they take a break from investigating. Ed agrees but a case over in England grabs his attention.
The plot of this one is the infamous Enfield Poltergeist that I was only peripherally aware of back in the day. I had heard of it, and that the Warrens were involved, but never knew the particulars. Strangely I don’t have any books of theirs that talks about it either. All I know now of this case is through this movie. Apparently this took place over in England between 1977 and 1979 where a family was under siege by a poltergeist. That poltergeist turned out to be the spirit of an angry old man who died in the house and wanted to continue living there despite his “condition.” One of the kids starts sleepwalking, and getting teleported to various spots in the house. She then gets possessed by this old man and acting, well, possessed. We’ve all seen The Exorcist (1974), so you know what I’m talking about, but her possession never gets that extreme. But there’s an added element to this case that ends up involving that demonic nun. Even though Ed is under the threat of death in this one, not once do you believe he would die, since these two are the heart of this franchise. The supernatural elements are beefed up more so than in the first flick; there are some manifestations that felt more in tune with a monster movie. Effective, they were, nevertheless.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.41:1 high definition widescreen—5.1 English Dolby TrueHD, 5.1 English Dolby Digital, 5.1 French Dolby Digital, 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital, 5.1 Portuguese Dolby Digital —English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese subs
Extras included . . .
- Crafting The Conjuring 2 (10:09)
- The Enfield Poltergeist: Living The Horror (12:46)
- Creating Crooked (6:44)
- The Conjuring 2: Hollywood’s Haunted Stage (5:08)
- The Sounds Of Scary (6:59)
- Deleted Scenes (6:31)