THE CONJURING 2 (2016) Reviews and overview

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The Conjuring 2 is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan (Saw; Insidious; The Conjuring) from a screenplay co-written with Chad and Carey Hayes, authors of the first film, plus David Leslie Johnson (Orphan).

The film took $320,270,008 at the worldwide box office against a reported production budget of $40 million. This huge financial success has led James Wan to reveal that a spin-off film starring the creepy nun that has frightened audiences so much is already in development.


The movie stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Abhi Sinha, Lauren Esposito, Franka Potente, Simon McBurney, Simon Delaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, and Madison Wolfe.


Based upon a series of poltergeist disturbances that allegedly occurred in a council house in Enfield, North London, during late 1977 [read details]. The strange case, the highlight of which was an eleven year-old girl who repeatedly “levitated” above her bed, was widely reported in the British press and images such as those below later appeared in a book, This House is Haunted: The True Story of a Poltergeist (1980).

The 2015 British TV mini-series, The Enfield Haunting, is based on the same series of events.





“James Wan has done it again, proving that horror can be a lot of things, and depending on whose hands it’s in, a simple knocking on the walls or a shadow floating across the room can be utterly terrifying. Is it as good as the first film? Does it really matter? Good is good, and The Conjuring 2 is great.” The Missing Reel

“On one level, The Conjuring 2 is just a not-bad megaplex funhouse movie, no more and no less, but on another level it offers its potential fans a helping of reassurance to go along with the fear. If there are ghost demons out there, then God must be out there as well. Audiences, it was long ago proven, will pay to see both.” Variety


“Every time a character leans unwisely into an impenetrably dark corner, audiences get a glimpse of that better, leaner, more merciless movie. The Conjuring 2 is authentically frightening when it focuses on fright. But the version currently on screens feels self-indulgent and baggy, like a grab bag of ideas that needed more winnowing and a sharper focus on one or two key ideas.” The Verge

“Audiences expecting a repeat fright-fest might be disappointed in the relative restraint of The Conjuring 2, but this sequel — lesser but not entirely unequal — has its own goosebumps to raise.” The Wrap

” … doesn’t live up to the films that inspired it (or the original) not because of the filmmaking laziness we so often see in horror (especially sequels), but almost because Wan and company are having too much fun to streamline their film. The movie runs amazingly long, and could have lost at least 15 minutes to make for a tighter, scarier ride. At times, the non-stop haunting becomes numbing, lessening its ability to scare.”


“The redeeming factor of this, as with the first film, is that in parts it’s quite  scary – which is an achievement in that it owes enough to the true story not to add a body count so we have here the story of a demon attack in which no one is really harmed, let alone killed.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Those hoping to be scared out of their wits by The Conjuring 2 however, will likely walk out of the cinema disappointed but those after a great, dark story will be impressed, seeing Wan once again deliver truly eerie scenes without the use of cheap tactics.” International Business Times


“But scares aren’t everything, even in horror, and The Conjuring 2 is a freaky but often witless production that fails to stitch super-creepy scenes together into any compelling story. As it fritters away character work and ideas about faith and devotion, this is a film clever enough to scare us but not smart enough to accomplish anything more.” The Playlist
“It helps that the frights come thick and fast, with an early scene that pretty much lays the groundwork for every terrifying set-piece to come leading to some chilling payoffs. The scenes with young Billy’s tent and The Crooked Man zoetrope […] are standouts, while a scene in the Warren family home involving a Marilyn Manson-like demonic nun is a show-stealer.” UK Horror Scene


“Lacking some of the simplicity and elegance of the first instalment, The Conjuring 2 is nonetheless a smoothly efficient horror movie, building to a powerhouse finale rooted in our emotional connection to the film’s well-drawn main characters.” Screen Daily

“There are some solid scares (Wan is too gifted in the dark art of gotcha manipulation to not make you leap a few times), but there’s nothing on par with the first film’s brilliant hide-and-clap scene with Lili Taylor.” Entertainment Weekly

“The scares are effective and the camerawork is superb, all lurking long shots and short sharp shocks. …But there’s little here we haven’t seen before, and unless you’re willing to suspend a whole lot of disbelief, the God-bothering certainty of it all is pretty disconcerting. There’s a great, conflicted drama to be made about the Enfield case; this isn’t quite it.” Time Out London

The Conjuring 2 Enfield Poltergeist

” … Wan does make a valiant attempt to match the style and locations of the actual Enfield poltergeist case, all the way down to the vintage ’70s wardrobes that can be seen in various eerie photographs scattered about online. Unfortunately, the film can’t shake its soundstage look, from the lighting to the exteriors to the weather, and this only adds to the nagging feeling that what you’re watching is nothing more than big-budgeted smoke and mirrors.” Consequence of Sound

“Cinematographer Don Burgess’ camera prowls and swoops, Bishara’s choral score sends shivers up the spine and Wan uses prolonged silence as well as sounds — creaking floorboards, a screeching backyard swing — to maximum unsettling effect. The director knows how to turn objects, from an antique zoetrope to a ringing telephone, into icons of free-floating evil or, in the case of a crucifix, into tools of redemption.” The Hollywood Reporter

“None of these bright spots can rescue The Conjuring 2 from its epic running time and pileup of gimmicks. A host of side characters come and go, as do perfunctory scenes in which the Warrens talk through their clues. Hints of backstories hit dead-ends, and the final reveal of the force driving these phenomena hardly justifying the prolonged build-up. With time, the jump scares have a numbing effect. No matter how much works about The Conjuring 2, there’s simply too much of it.” IndieWire


” … it does get a little hokey (the dull, drab house just happens to have a massive cellar), and clichés aren’t exactly inconspicuous. However, the performances are excellent across the board, while Wilson and Farmiga are tremendous as a married couple utterly devoted to each other. Their relationship is the movie’s emotional anchor, and proves that horror films can be sweet, surprising, and even charming. Even ones with demonic nuns.” Empire

” … if you appreciated the first film precisely because it transcended many genre tropes and preferred suspense to big, loud effects-driven moments, and if you liked the play with subtext and more human portrayals of our two ghost-busting leads, then I suspect you might feel let down by The Conjuring 2 the same as I was.” New York Times

“Skip this film if you can’t suspend disbelief; it’s entertainment, not a documentary, and though the characters of course discuss whether the haunting is real, that’s not what the director, James Wan, is interested in. He wants to scare and unsettle you, and does.”

“The only way for the supremely talented Wan to bypass John Carpenter levels of horror greatness is if he attempts horror movies with better stories. For now this is simply an entertaining date movie, and a surprisingly good horror sequel entry. Carry an extra pair of underwear to the theaters and unpack them when the scene with the painting begins.” The Hindu



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