Fresh from solving the Amityville haunting, the warrens (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are tasked with the notorious Enfield haunting. Along a working class street in North London a single mothers’ family are being terrorised by an angry spirit that is targeting a young girl in particular. But it everything as it first appears to be?
When the first Conjuring came out I quite liked it. I may feel differently about it now – me being not 16 anymore, but as it stands I have decent memories of the first instalment. So I went in ready to enjoy this one. And while I wasn’t disappointed it’s not great either.
I’ve never been wholly convinced by James Wan as a director. I don’t think he’s ever achieved a film to be better than decent, and a few of his movies are just plain bad (Insidious, Insidious 2). And nothing in the Conjuring 2 has done anything the help the guy. He certainly knows how to make people jump, but that’s not saying anything really all one needs to do is turn the volume up high enough. But he does occasionally stumble across good horror set pieces. There are maybe two scenes in the Conjuring 2 that are effective and scary. However for the most part – and in an over two hour long film that’s an awful lot – it just isn’t scary enough.
Ok spoilers ahead team. So stop now if you have not yet seen the Conjuring 2 and care at all about seeing it.
For me the main problem with The Conjuring 2 was that for about an hour and a half the main antagonist just is not scary. The old man who is haunting the house sometimes for me even appeared to be slightly comic. The nun who turns out to be the main antagonist (in a very clunky manner I must say) is genuinely pretty scary to look at. It’s a shame James Wan only manages to capitalise on her design maybe twice. Elsewhere I found that the Crooked Man’s inclusion while creepy on its own didn’t really make sense with the rest of the film, and just appeared to be an attempt to have a kind of Babadook figure in the fold.
The whole films suffers from not knowing quite what tone its actually going for. It mostly seems to be going with the slowly building up suspense route, but then it’ll suddenly be a crash bang wallop almost action film, and then it’ll be quite light hearted and almost comic – see Patrick Wilson singing Elvis to the children – in many ways this might actually be James Wan’s worst directed movie. Because with Insidious at least the tone was the same the whole way through, sure that tone was silly and boring but it was consistent, whereas in the Conjuring 2 it’s kind of all over the place. It is also worth noting that there are some fairly catastrophic cockney accents on display here.
Overall, it is quite an enjoyable watch even if half the time it’s because the film strays into so bad its funny territory. So would I recommend you watch this? Probably not. Will you be disappointed if you choose to watch it? If you are expecting a good film then yes. Will you have fun? Possibly – I did.