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The Conjuring 2
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148 out of 202 people found the following review useful:

An uncommonly strong sequel

8/10
Author: mungflesh from London, England
2 June 2016

The Conjuring 2 doesn't waste time in bringing the scares in. By that, I mean you're pretty much in the thick of it within three minutes or so, being given some background (via another very notorious haunting incident) for what is to follow.

The Warrens are sent on behalf of the church to investigate some paranormal activity which is whipping up a media storm in Enfield, England and, as per the first movie, they go and attempt to work their magic on the situation. As per the first movie, a family is being haunted and they fear for their sanity and lives. There are a few new twists this time round, so all does not play out as before - but it's not a complete departure from the format, which might have made it a bit more gripping in places.

James Wan's trademark visual style is repeated in this movie - his bag of tricks sometimes yielding a sense of deja vu but generally working like a charm. When it's intended to scare, it really does. The scares come a bit more frequently than in the first movie and do manage to build a lot of tension, even if you've seen the original, so well done to Wan for that.

What's really enjoyable about this movie, is its nostalgic recreation of 70s England. Wan has really done a great job of this, which is surprising given that he's not from there. Also, the central support role of Janet Hodgson is pretty crucial to empathising with the Enfield family and Madison Wolfe gives a solid performance.

It's arguable this one is as strong as the first. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed part one, or indeed likes movies of a haunting or possession theme.

Stick around for the credits - the music is seriously unsettling!

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139 out of 219 people found the following review useful:

Wow!!

10/10
Author: m-shellby from Sunshine Coast, Queensland
8 June 2016

Wow wow wow!! I've never been much of a fan of sequels but The Conjuring 2 was incredible. I'm never one to jump at everything 'scary' I see in movies as usually you've seen it all before & let's be honest, nothing really scares you much when your not a teenager anymore. However The Conjuring had me jumping all over the place. At one point I even yelped, much to my embarrassment, but that's why we go to horror movies! To be scared & the conjuring didn't disappoint. All actors gave amazing performances & the story had you never in a state of boredom. Walking out of the cinema I couldn't wait to see what The Conjuring 3 would bring! (Assuming we're lucky enough for another). Definitely a movie to see in the cinema. I give it 10/10!! Great movie!!

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95 out of 151 people found the following review useful:

The Conjuring 2 is best when it sticks to the basics

8/10
Author: Agent Dice from Hard Pond Street
8 June 2016

First, the all-important question: Is The Conjuring 2 scary? Like, jump out of your seat, watch through your outstretched fingers scary? The answer to that is "yes." Under James Wan's direction, even the most clichéd haunted-house tropes (and this movie is bursting with them) are genuinely creepy, and although the movie isn't overly reliant on jump scares, the ones it does use—well, they work. On a lizard-brain level, The Conjuring 2 taps into the universal childhood fear of the dark, and some of its simplest moments—like a little girl hiding under the covers with a flashlight—are its most effective, bolstered by skillfully executed sound design and Don Burgess' gloomy cinematography.

Speaking of tropes, that's where the "based on a true story" bit comes in. The main plot of the film revolves around a real-life incident known as the Enfield Poltergeist, an extremely well-documented case of a supposed ghost who terrorized the Hodgson family of North London from 1977 to 1979 and was apparently a fan of the classics: knocking on walls, shaking beds, throwing furniture, and even the occasional haunted kid's toy. And as malevolent spirits often do, it picked on one of the children in particular, 11-year-old Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe). Call it a collective delusion, or a desperate cry for attention from a disturbed child. Or call it what the movie very explicitly calls it: The Devil.

With this installment, the Conjuring movies may have overtaken The Exorcist as the most Christian of horror franchises, taking place in a universe where the Catholic Church is the spiritual S.H.I.E.L.D. and demon hunters Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) its holy roller super-agents. The film opens with the Warrens investigating the famous Amityville case, during the course of which Lorraine first encounters the hellish presence that will haunt her for the next few years. Fearing for his life, she begs her husband to suspend any future paranormal investigations, to which he reluctantly agrees. Until, that is, a priest arrives to give them their next mission: Travel to London and confirm the veracity of reports of a demonically tinged haunting.

Both Farmiga and Wilson are given their chance to shine in spooky set pieces—Farmiga early on in the film, Wilson later. But while they're both convincing in spiritual warrior mode, Wan's decision to play up the romance between the two doesn't quite work. We knew that the Warrens were a happily married couple in the first movie, but having them each individually tell the story of their paranormal love and Ed make suggestive comments about the sleeping arrangements seems odd, maybe because they're flirting in front of a possessed pre-teen whose soul is currently in the process of being swallowed by the Pit. (On the other hand, this is just another day at the office for the Warrens.) The non-horror elements of the film are uneven in general: The score, so effective in the fright scenes, suddenly evokes eye rolls when things start to get sentimental, and there's one scene of unintentional comedy where the film's retro '70s setting—another element downplayed in the first film but foregrounded here—collides with its demonic imagery in an honestly pretty silly way. (The Conjuring 2 shares its predecessor's eye for period details, some of which seem out-and-out ridiculous until they're juxtaposed with photos of their real-life counterparts in the end credits. The on-the-nose pop music gets no such redemption.) That being said, there are also some truly funny moments, like a shot of the Hodgson family running from their haunted house after a particularly intense bout of psychokinetic activity that riffs on smartasses' favorite retort, "Why don't they just move?" (And, for the record, they don't move because it's public housing, and the local council, which is naturally quite skeptical of the whole "ghost" thing, has to approve the relocation.) It's also worth noting that The Conjuring 2 is more than two hours long, allowing for lots of escalation. And while each individual haunting scene can be white-knuckle intense, by the dozenth or so such shock, the film starts to lose momentum. So the final confrontation, when it does come, is a relief in more ways than one. The long running time also allows Wan to overthink his demonology: The main villain, an infernal nun, is appropriately nightmarish, if reminiscent of the veiled "Bride In Black" from Wan's own Insidious. What's less compelling is the insertion of the "Crooked Man," a storybook scarecrow monster that starts spreading Babadook-esque chaos about halfway through and is explained as the demon assuming a form that's familiar to the Hodgsons. Which would be fine, if it weren't for the two familiar forms that the spirit has taken already.

When The Conjuring 2 focuses its efforts on scaring the audience, it succeeds, wildly. And why wouldn't it? Wan's got his horror technique locked down at this point. It's the parts where it wanders away from the basics of creating and releasing tension that prevent it from outdoing its predecessor.

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53 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

The Conjuring 2 Review

9/10
Author: Mark Burnham from United States
12 June 2016

The Conjuring 2 is directed by James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The Conjuring 2 is an excellent horror movie and just a flat out great movie in general. From the camera-work to the performances this movie delivers on all fronts. The plot follows a family in poverty in Einfield,England that start experiencing strange happenings in their home. After things become much worse over a period of time The Warrens are contacted to come and help. This is a very scary movie thanks to James Wan's direction from lingering and tracking shots he is truly a master behind the camera. The scares come quite often as scenes will linger and bring a huge sense of tension and get you when your not expecting it bringing some very frightening scenes. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilsons performances are excellent as you buy into their relationship and learn some lessons on marriage. The children actors have the be given credit too as they are great in this film. These kids are terrified of the haunting and you will feel their dread. I am so satisfied with this film generally people worry about horror sequels usually because they can turn out unsuccessful, but I am happy to report as a big fan of the first movie this is just as great.

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62 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

Has it's flaws, but overall even scarier than it's predecessor

7/10
Author: Lachlan_Saunders from Victoria, Australia
4 June 2016

I was able to see 'The Conjuring 2' at an advanced screening last night and I left feeling surprisingly satisfied. I can't remember the last time I saw a horror sequel that was able to hold it's own against it's predecessor, but with James Wan at the helm; I went in cautiously optimistic.

Let me say off the bat that this movie is legitimately scary. It's the scariest horror film I've seen in a while and it does have genius scares, despite having many in the first half that felt a little cheap. This brings me to my biggest problem with 'The Conjuring 2'. Though this movie is consistently intense and definitely never boring, I felt that the first 50-or-so minutes were often formulaic and ineffective. This is a structural problem that I had and I'm sure it won't be a problem for many audience members.

That entire first act consists of many individual scenes that all end in a scare, and the majority of these scares don't necessarily feel earned. So as a result; this section of the film often feels repetitive and drawn out. By this, I mean that one specific character reacts to one disturbing scare by not telling anyone about it. It also includes a few clichés that didn't greatly affect the plot and wouldn't be missed (e.g Ouija board, children hearing something and getting out of bed to look for it; seriously this happens way too many times in this movie). I'm perfectly fine with film-makers experimenting with structure, but I'm afraid it just didn't work for me in this movie. In fact it's a-scare-a-scene design came off as conventional and peddling to the masses. I think the film would have benefited from a greater focus on slow-building tension.

Any problems within the troubled first act are nothing in comparison to the tension and legitimate terror rife throughout the last hour. In fact I feel confident enough in saying that I found this film to be even scarier than the first in the series.

I found the music to be nothing particularly standout on it's own, but it worked well within the context of the movie and is greatly responsible for the tension created throughout. The performances from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were very good and the child actors were able to hold their own and not be just "good for kids". This film took risks in it's presentation including the design of many of the entities seen throughout, and I thought that this mostly remained effective.

So overall; I found this to be an extremely successful horror film. I admire James Wan's ambition and I was impressed by his masterful use of long takes. I felt that the flaws in this film were greatly outweighed by it's achievements and I will definitely be checking it out again soon. In my opinion this is the best horror sequel since 'Evil Dead II' and I would definitely recommend it. Go check it out!

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A rare horror sequel that delivers the same quality scares as its predecessor, courtesy of returning puppeteer James Wan.

8/10
Author: Andrew Gold from United States
14 October 2016

The Conjuring was a shocking horror film. It combined every creepy trope you can think of (ghosts, dolls, music boxes, mirrors, you name it), and it actually worked thanks to a genre-savvy director behind the curtains. James Wan has proved himself a capable producer on projects such as Saw and Insidious, and with The Conjuring, he cemented himself as a master of the genre. It had the perfect amalgam of horror tropes crafted in such a way that felt as fresh and spine-tingling as classic haunted house movies did in the '80s. The Conjuring 2 is another "based on true events" tale that has us follow expert paranormal investigators, the Warrens, this time solving the mystery of the Enfield Haunting.

Similar to the Amityville Haunting, the Enfield Haunting sees an English family plagued with a poltergeist that doesn't seem to enjoy the presence of anyone in the house. What The Conjuring 2 succeeds at is giving us both character development and another great story, which is exactly what a good sequel should do. The acting is uniformly great, but the true star of the film is James Wan. His shots are designed in a way to imbue dread and stir it around our heads for a while before hitting us with the scare. That's what true horror lacks these days, patience. The longer the anticipation is built and the more atmosphere is created, the more unsettling the situation becomes until it's like a ticking time bomb that you anxiously wait to go off. It uses familiar tropes, such as self-starting children's toys, slamming doors, and smashing furniture, but they're used as tools to mask the truly frightening fact that this family is up against something utterly beyond their control - they're hopeless, and we can feel it.

Mind you, The Conjuring 2 isn't without its faults. The runtime is a blatant offender. Pushing the 2-hour mark is never a good idea for a horror film, and some fat definitely could have been trimmed. There are a handful of cheap scares, audio scares to be precise - when the music gets extremely loud all of a sudden and you find yourself more annoyed than scared, quickly reaching for the remote to turn the volume down at the risk of enduring another ear drum shattering noise. It also doesn't feel as unique as its predecessor, understandably due to the very nature of sequels, but there are moments that drag on long enough to remind you that the first Conjuring didn't have these plodding plot points. For example, it takes about an hour for the Warrens to even get to England. Also, while in the haunted house, they're able to sleep through some horrifying sounds that would snap a bear right out of hibernation. But these dull spots and plot inconsistencies are few and far between.

The Conjuring 2 is how a horror sequel should be done. It's slick, stylish, fun, and at times, quite terrifying. When a horror movie makes me want to turn on the lights as I go roaming around the house at night, I consider that a job well done. The Conjuring 2, well done.

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51 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

Genre saturation Showcase.

3/10
Author: ferna_oe from Chile
12 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't take me wrong. I did not hate The conjuring 2. It is an enjoyable film, in many terms. But I need to stress out, that this is one of the many films that have come lately, which is absolutely all about selling the product. The Hype. The anticipation. The goal of the producers lies 1 second after the ticket is sold, and not quite 1 second after the film is over. The conjuring 2 takes its context out of a very documented paranormal case which took place in England in 1977. It narrates the story of a family of 5, single mom, and 4 children, which are tormented by a spirit, and who eventually, get to be assisted by experts-in-these-topics Ed and Loraine Warren.

The premise might not be original at all, but it still works. The problem comes when such a premise is used at an attempt to pull off an over 2 hours long feature film.

About 30 minutes in, you will start to notice that this film is desperate. It is desperate to make you scared and live up to its own trailers and expectations. It might succeed on some (mostly children under 14 who sneaked inside the theater or whose irresponsible parents lied about their age at the ticket booth). But seasoned horror film enthusiasts will be able to anticipate almost every single jump-scare or even take a leap of faith and predict the outcome of a whole scene. Why? Because everything that happens in the conjuring 2, you have already seen or experienced in other films. This is the type of film you can watch with a notebook and start checking those clichés as they appear. The effort through which the writers struggled to come out with anything barely original or "never seen" before is noticeable, and every time they fail. Now considering this film is 110+min long, you will get tired quickly of hearing a loud noise, the a scream, and the some generic paranormal door slam, or furniture dash, because it happens a lot, and it get old a lot faster.

Don't get me wrong. It is not a trash film. Production values alone are worth the ticket. The film is beautifully filmed, in dark and ominous colors, and the house looks stunning even in almost 95% darkness. The music is interesting and tense, and the acting is top notch. (And the vile nun got myself quite convinced it was Marilyn Manson) But if you're there for the technical specs of it, you could have gone to other place to watch Citizen Kane.

It saddens me a little, to be witness of the decadence of the horror genre. Where most of the production money goes towards jump-scare roller-coaster rides like this one. The recipe for box office success was found, and they just keep making the same cake with different glazing. You will probably notice that before the film even starts, when you see that 4 trailers, and then you cannot make the difference between the 4 generic horror movies you've been shown. Probably you won't even be able to recall the names of the films. Because it doesn't matter. 3 stars. Enjoyable overall, but terribly generic.

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53 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Clever enough to scare us

7/10
Author: Niki Kefala from Greece
9 June 2016

"The Conjuring 2" is an excellent example of what more sequels should aspire to be. It is a perfectly executed haunting movie from James Wan that dives deep below the surface to explore themes of vision, belief and faith. The family drama is still right at the center and is quite effective, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are excellent to their roles. The film doesn't give anything new at the horror movie genre, but its set pieces are often impressive, even if sometimes rely a bit on jump scares. The truth is that "The Conjuring 2" has enough suspense and story to have appeal for all kinds of horror fans and is a film clever enough to scare us. nikisreviews.com

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53 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, better than the first one.

10/10
Author: Sivra Snape from United States
3 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was really surprised about what an amazing job James Wan did with this sequel. From the very start it captures you and keeps you attached to the screen. There is no way you can get bored. I loved the suspense that goes increasing pretty quickly through the whole film, I could feel my heart in my ears beating faster as the atmosphere grew creeper and creeper. I enjoyed all the small details threw around such as the name of the demon that was showed in the Warren's house more than once in the background, leaving me with the question "Why that word keeps being repeated? Nobody in that house has that name!" only at the end I figured out what it meant. I absolutely adored the whole plot and the plot twist within. Make up and special effects were crazy, they made you get chills running down your spine. The soundtrack was impeccable, it played a big part in creating the right atmosphere. Few jump scares, very well situated, some of them very unpredictable. Didn't see a couple of them coming, at all. I found that Vera Farmiga was absolutely stunning with her performance in this movie. I loved the way Lorraine had her "moment" when stepping in to save her husband condemning the demonic entity back to hell. She was incredibly intense. Personally, I think Patrick Wilson did a better job in this movie compared to the first. I felt like Ed and his relationship with Lorraine was a lot more highlighted. I highly recommend this movie. If you are a fan of the paranormal you can't miss it.

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24 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Too dumb to be scary

4/10
Author: sosherio from United States
20 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To be fair, the movie is scary (at least if you watch it in a theater) for about one hour, not because of the story, but because of its typical jump scares: the music, the camera movement, the light, and everything else prepares you for something horrible to happen, but it does not happen when you expect it; a couple of seconds later BAM! Even though I don't like jump scares in the movies (for the same reason I don't like them in real life), they can at least scare you. The other supposedly scary parts, like throwing furniture around or making loud and non-sense noises are not scary, but rather dumb and boring.

After one hour, the movie becomes dumb and dumber. I believe the most ridiculous scene is the one that Ed communicates with the Bill's spirit through Janet and tries to talk him out of harassing the family: they first introduce each other; then Ed asks the spirit very nicely to leave the poor family alone; the Bill's spirit argues that this is his home and they should go; Ed replies that Bill is dead, so technically speaking he cannot have a house, etc. In my opinion, knowing who the demon is and what it seeks is bad enough to ruin a horror movie, but bringing the demon into the negotiating table and getting to know him through a face-to-face meeting is beyond my imagination. This ridiculous scene ends with Ed pointing a cross at the Bill's spirit to repel it from Janet's body. I'm really wondering that if a cross is powerful enough to get rid of the evil, does it really have to be pointed at the evil to work?

After this scene, nothing makes any sense any more. We just have to wait for the nights to come, because that's when the bad things happen. But we don't really know what it is that the "demonic presence" of the house wants. If it wants to get rid of the family, it can kill them all quite easily, as it seems to be very powerful: it can throw the furniture around, destroy the walls, control all the objects, teleport people and stick them into the walls or the ceilings. What are the powers and the limits of such demon? In one scene, we see it repelled by a cross; in another scene, it puts on quite a show by rotating several crosses. If the demon is after Ed and Lorraine, why does it devise a plan to make them leave the house? Why don't the family move out from this place? It's not like other haunted house movies when nobody believes the possessed person; in this movie, the paranormal events occur right before everybody's eyes. As I said, there is no logic in this movie at all.

Furthermore, I found most of the "smart" scenes of the movie quite funny as well: the way Ed discovered the actual demon of the house by playing two records simultaneously; or the way Lorraine found out the demon's name in her dream, and the way she just needed to say the demon's name to send it back to hell, and the part that Ed talked to Bill's spirit in the first place.

Finally, I really enjoyed the fact that Ed and Lorraine keep souvenirs of the "cases" they solve.

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