‘The Conjuring 2’ Review Roundup: James Wan’s Sequel Nearly As Good As The Original
The Conjuring 2 has shifted the action of the original film across the pond to London, where the famed paranormal investigators take on a new frightful case.
In James Wan‘s The Conjuring 2, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) sit down to learn about a new case in Enfield, London. The Warrens then head to the house where the 11-year-old girl appears to be taken over by the spirit of a 72-year-old man. Together, they attempt to rid the family of the supernatural horror. But, before long, Lorraine comes face-to-face with terrors that tempt her to abandon the project altogether.
‘The Conjuring 2’ Review Roundup
Critics, who were first impressed by the 2013 acclaimed horror film The Conjuring, remain on board for the sequel. In addition to packing in the scares – relying more on psychological frights than gore – the film has an emotional core. Also, surprisingly, The Conjuring 2 doesn’t shy away from some humor to lessen some of the tension. Special compliments have been paid to Farmiga and Madison Wolfe, who plays the young girl who may or may not be in need of an exorcism.
“The Conjuring 2” is a work of British kitchen-sink realism in the guise of a supernatural thriller: Call it Ken Loach’s “Poltergeist,” or perhaps “The Exorcist” as imagined by a young Mike Leigh. The actual director is James Wan, who has followed up his superb “The Conjuring” (2013) with another virtuosic exercise in mobile camerawork and moldering production design, tethered to a story that handles its characters and their working-class milieu with an unexpectedly grounded, sensitive touch. Generous with jolts but devoid of gratuitous bloodshed, these are the rare horror movies that seem more interested in how people live than how they die.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“Wolfe gives a great and eerie performance as the haunted kid who’s either possessed or pulling a hoax. It’s hard not to think of Linda Blair in The Exorcist when it comes to these kinds of roles, but Wolfe does the pea-soup brigade proud. While Wilson is solid as the good-hearted Ed, Farmiga is Wan’s true standout — her Lorraine really gets put through the wringer as she deals with the constant presence of a terrifying supernatural force, and Farmiga sells every gasp.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today
“The problem with the original Conjuring is it felt like a checklist of horror clichés. […] Ditto Conjuring 2. Dear old dead Bill would be plenty — he sure was for the Hodgsons — yet Wan can’t resist throwing in everything from a demonic nun to an evil kinetoscope to a shape-shifting dog. It’s less a haunted house than a spectral grab bag. But when building suspense, more means less. The best nightmares come from a simple premise like Freddy Krueger’s ‘Don’t fall asleep.’ Audiences like rules — they make us feel sick to our stomachs when characters break them. Here, the scares are so scattered that it’s hard to be afraid of anything except the most basic gimmick: a dark hallway and the predictable countdown till something goes, ‘BOO!’ – Amy Nicholson, MTV News.
“The 2013 film “The Conjuring,” about a possessed farmhouse in Rhode Island, was one of the better horror movies to come along in a while, and “The Conjuring 2” does everything you want a sequel to do. It’s as well made as the original, but the location and the story are different enough that it’s not just the same thing all over again. […] 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.” – Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
The Conjuring 2 is now in theaters.