The Conjuring was a wonderful take on the classic horror story and was hugely successful and, as per any successful film, it was inevitable that a follow-up would be commissioned.
The Conjuring 2 centres again around the Warrens, Ed and Lorraine played superbly by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as they investigate another series of supernatural events. This time the setting is Britain and is based on the true story of the Enfield Poltergeist (as any horror film worth it’s salt will use this tag line).
The style portrayed in the film gives it an authentic feel, it really does look like 70s Britain with the old motors and dreary houses, which is in stark contrast to the bright and well lit American house of the Warrens.
As usual it is the kids who instigate the whole thing as they dabble with things that they don’t understand and they are by far the most susceptible to evil spirits, as we would be led to believe. Strange occurrences start happening to the kids in the house but are mostly centred around Janet, an 11 year old girl. She is slowly drawn in and taken over by the entity that is dwelling in their house.
The film builds up a great deal of tension and manages to keep this going right through the film which is some feat considering it’s running time of over two hours when most horror films struggle to keep this up for the standard 90 minute length. There are two main story threads that slowly get intertwined, that of the Hodgsons in Enfield and the Warrens. They do this fairly well, eventually drawing them together by confirming a common enemy.
The issue I have with the film I feel comes from the sequel factors. Being a sequel things obviously need to be bigger, better and scarier, and with more production. There are a good number of scares along the way, jump scares and tension building scares, however some of the ideas for the scares seemed out of place in the style and atmosphere of the film (I’m thinking about the Crooked Man here). Also, the hierarchy of evil that this film unveils adds to the feeling that one main threat wasn’t enough so they needed to ramp it up some for this sequel, adding to that sequel factor feeling that it needed more than just a single threat.
All in all this is a decent, scary film. Well worth a watch if you enjoy this genre but it feels like it lacks the authenticity of the original film due to the attempt to make it a bigger than it needed to be.