Over the last two years, the horror genre has gone through a resurgence, producing many interesting film such as The Babadook, It Follows and most recently The Witch. The man arguably responsible for this resurgence is Australian filmmaker James Wan, who kick-started the Saw series and terrified us with the horror film set in the 70s, The Conjuring, which made an astonishing $318 million worldwide. Now, Wan presents us with the equally terrifying and utterly brilliant sequel, which features freaky cinematography, a foreboding score and great performances from the cast.
The Conjuring 2 is once again structured around the case files of paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, played beautifully by Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga, and is based on the infamous Enfield case. The case occurred in North London in the late 70’s. Much like the first outing, the 70’s setting is really well realised and doesn’t fall into the potential trap of overemphasising the time period. At the start of the film, we find Ed & Lorraine conducting a séance in Amityville, to investigate whether the murders that occurred were influenced by the supernatural. Wan wastes no time in producing scares, with the opening sequence setting the tone for the rest of the film and giving a taste of what’s to come. The sequence also introduces us to one of the scariest elements of the film, a demonic nun, who becomes much more prominent as the film goes on, and is part of the film’s most frightening sequence. What separates The Conjuring 2 from the average horror-film is both its investment in the characters but also the emphasis on atmosphere, rather than simply resulting to jump scares (although the film WILL make you jump, several times).
Overall, The Conjuring 2 is a rare mainstream horror film that works, due to director James Wan’s ability to create a genuine sense of dread and the terrific performances from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
In fact, the film has already managed to literally spook someone to death and the body is now missing! I guess, life really does imitate art!