A lot of people love the first Conjuring, and upon release, it was praised for being a stand out film in a genre that’s filled with mediocrity. While I did enjoy it, I wasn’t quite as crazy about the film as many other people seemed to be. Still, I was happy to hear that there was going to be a sequel and that both leads, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, and perhaps, more importantly, director James Wan were all returning. On top of that, these films are based on real people, Ed and Lorraine Warren, and real events, so there’s plenty of material to draw on, which means this film had no reason not to have a great story.
Set in the 1970’s and based on the true events known as ‘The Enfield Haunting’, The Conjuring 2 sees paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to Enfield, an area in North London. When the Hodgson family start to experience creepy events that can’t be explained, the media take attention, which only seems to make what’s happening even worse. Most affected by the events is 11-year-old Janet (Madison Wolfe), who’s not only experiencing most of what’s been happening but also seems to be the centre of attention for whatever it is that’s haunting the family.
Long term readers of Third Act Film will know that I have a bit of an issue with English accents in films, and the fact that they’re not always very realistic (even when they’re done by some English actors), and straight off the bat that is an issue this film had. A lot of the voices are quite grating, especially those of the children in this film. That, however, is more or less my only major complaint with this film.
I can’t remember the last time I was this scared by something I’d just watched. It’s one of those films that stays with you after you’ve seen it and follows you home into your thoughts at night. This has some truly unique moments that genuinely had me on edge, one of which is a continuous take that I would put up there with the greatest horror scenes of all time.
A lot of the plaudits have to go to James Wan, who really knows horror, and how to surprise audiences. The way this film is shot and the camera angles that he chose are incredibly inventive, and I constantly found myself thinking about how well made this film is – something that doesn’t happen very often in this genre. He even managed to sneak in some jokes among the scares. There are a few CGI heavy moments that slightly detract from the overall feel of the film, and if you know the true story it’s based on you know that this film deviates heavily from those events, but both of these things don’t come close to bringing this film down in quality.
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