Dir. James Wan
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Read the newspaper version of this review over at: The Bucks Herald
“How does it feel living in a haunted house?”
Just when you thought it was safe to venture to the cinema, The Conjuring comes back with a full force spook-em-up and puts the heebie-jeebies in you… If you saw the original then you’ll know the drill – this is another ‘based on actual events’ case of the supernatural being tackled by real life husband and wife ghost busters Ed (Patrick ‘Watchmen’ Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera ‘Source Code’ Farmiga).
"The power of Christ compels you"
The Conjuring 2 tells the well reported (and already filmed in different guises) case of the Hodgson family of North London where a Poltergeist infested their home back in 1977. Known as ‘The Enfield Haunting’ – it seemed that a malevolent spirit began especially tormenting 11-year-old Janet Hodgson (Madison ‘Joy” Wolfe) and her mother Peggy (Frances ‘A.I.’ O'Connor).
The ‘facts’ of the case are that an angry ghost of former resident who died on the property in Green Street returned to try and drive the family out of their council house. But whilst the evidence of paranormal activity seems beyond question, some dismiss it as a collective delusion, or the work of a devious and disturbed child. But what if it was all actually the work of a demon manifesting in different forms for some higher dark plan?
"Hi - I'd like 2 tickets for the Marilyn Manson concert please?"
This is certainly not a film for the faint of heart as the fright factor is set to ‘high’. Effective jump scares aplenty keep you on the edge of your seat thanks to the slick directing of James ‘The Fast & Furious 7’ Wan. What might make you raise an eyebrow though is to see that The Conjuring 2 was written by Christian screenwriters Chad and Carey Hills.
The Church here is depicted as the only force strong enough to tackle such evil incarnate and it’s almost enough to make you want to pitch up to your local place of worship just to be on the safe side. The Warrens have nothing to battle the forces of darkness without their trusty crucifixes and bibles.
"Uncle William doesn't play nice"
Opening with a quick trip to another famous haunting – The Amityville Horror, this is a decent addition to what looks like becoming a franchise thanks to the the strong box office opening of this second entry.
The Conjuring 2 packs some great special effects, really strong ideas and is nicely real-feeling acting. The '70s attention to detail is wonderful too - and will resonate with any Brits who lived through that time when it was socially acceptable to drive an Austin Allegro and rock huge mutton chop sideburns!
This a kind of spooky magic that is worth checking on the big screen, just maybe don’t go alone and have your vicar on speed dial just in case!?
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - Spooky whether fact or fiction )...
Awesomeness öööö – You'll potentially scream and definitely feel uncomfortable
Laughs öö – A little comedy banter
Horror ööö – Violent threat and strong horror moments
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – The name of Jesus has power!