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MOVIE REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 a simple, scary ghost story

Patrick Wilson in a scene from the movie The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist.
Patrick Wilson in a scene from the movie The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist. Matt Kennedy

ANOTHER week, another sequel. Hollywood's reliance on the guaranteed money of franchise filmmaking is clearly going to remain the norm for a very long time, and honestly, I've spent so much time talking about it that it's starting to feel like the 'airline food' of film criticism.

Although, James Wan's The Conjuring is admittedly a film with tremendous franchise potential.

Following the real life case notes of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, there's always going to be a different haunting to discover or new demon to exorcise.

Stories can organically happen without having to create a reason why Jason Vorhees is back from the dead again.

In the Conjuring 2, Ed and Lorraine are still battling both the metaphorical and literal demons they encountered during their most famous case in Amityville.

This trauma follows them to a new case in London where a working-class Enfield family is being terrorized by a poltergeist.

Madison Wolfe in a scene from the movie The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist.
Madison Wolfe in a scene from the movie The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist. Matt Kennedy

This is a series very much inspired by its setting, not just in terms of the real life protagonists but also the style of horror at the time.

The Conjuring 2 doesn't twist the classic horror format like The Babadook, or have the refreshing self awareness of the good Hellblazer adaption we'll hopefully get one day.

Instead it executes a simple ghost story with plenty of great scares and an engaging enough narrative to keep us hooked into the third act.

A lot of this is thanks to the experience of Australian director James Wan, whose mastery of the genre means he knows exactly how to scare an audience.

The Conjuring 2 didn't reinvent the wheel, but serves as a reminder why we like to watch horror movies on a dark night surrounded by friends on the couch - it's fun to be scared.

 

The Conjuring 2

Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe.

Director: James Wan.

Rating: MA 15+

Verdict: 3.5/5 stars

Topics:  movies


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