The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente
Writers: James Wan, Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes, David Leslie Johnson
Rated: R (for terror and horror violence)
Running Time: 2 Hours, 14 Minutes
This year, I have seen a number of recent horror films. Back in January, I saw a film called The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones). I went on record to say that the film featured one of the scariest images I’d seen in recent years, at least from a horror film. The movie itself, after the fact, was rather lackluster due to the story and the way that the ending was executed. Suffice it to say, I hadn’t seen any horror movie this year that truly packed a punch.
The previews for The Conjuring 2 came out earlier this year, and I was horrified. It didn’t look typical. The tone was dark, terrifying, and potentially more haunting then the last one. The biggest thing I worry about with going into any film is setting my expectations too high. I tried as hard as I could to refrain from watching the trailer too much, as that act of indulgence resulted in the spoiling of several movies for me in the past, such as The Purge.
The Conjuring 2 is the best horror film of the year. Yes, I know that we haven’t even hit October, a time when studios start pumping out films full of cheap jump scares and gore galore (give or a take the occassional good one), and I guarantee that there are still some films that have yet to present themselves (i.e., The Babadook, which was released at the tail end of last year). But I stand by this statement. The Conjuring 2 is the best horror film of the year. Is it horrifying? Yes. Will it give you chills? Yes. Is the scariest film of the entire year? Not sure. But I will say that I have not felt that terrified watching a film since 2012’s Sinister, helmed by Scott Derrickson.
The film is based off of the true life paranormal investigation of the Enfield hauntings, the most documented and highly-profiled case surrounding paranormal phenomena in history. The case was investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the subjects of the previous installment of the The Conjuring. The film is introduced with the Warrens, preparing to do a seance with a family for a separate case that I’m surprise was never leaked prior to the release. I will not reveal the name of this first investigation, but I am confident that you know it, and the first five minutes alone will leave chills down your spine.
The films shifts over to England, introducing the soon-to-be victims of the Enfield haunting. Perhaps the most effective thing that Wan is able to do is make us give a shit about the characters. While the film has sincere moments of dread, and throws you off specifically at moments where you really are convinced that everything is safe.
Additionally, The Conjuring 2 has a bit of heart when it comes to its characters. This is an element of horror films that I feel has been absent from nearly every single film from this genre I saw last year, and it was unbelievably refreshing to see this introduced into the last type of film I’d expect such an element.
This is a movie that will truly horrify you, if not for what is on the screen visually, then for the suspense and the journey it takes to whatever is waiting around that corner. Or in that chair, off in the far corner of the living room, shrouded in the darkness…
The Conjuring 2 is now playing in theaters everywhere. For movie showtime and box office information, visit www.fandango.com
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