Almost every Every successful horror movie is going to get a sequel (or remake), and as sure as the sun rises and sets, we were going to get a “Conjuring 2.” It doesn’t matter if we want a sequel or not, it doesn’t matter if the story was left open for a sequel; If it made money, they’re making more of ‘em. Insidious was a masterpiece, Insidious 2 was dreadful. The Conjuring was a pretty decent film, Annabelle was a cash grab. Do you see where I’m going with this yet? Also, the thought of having to stomach another “true story” from the infamous haunting hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, really didn’t tickle my fancy. (Did you know they once exorcised a werewolf? True story!)
That being said, The Conjuring 2 has had some pretty solid reviews and for the sake of professionalism, I decided to try and set my personal bias aside and dive headfirst into one of the biggest horror titles of the year. It’s been a pretty piss-poor few months for horror fans and A-grade, quality viewing is always welcome…Right guys? Brass tacks: The first scare of the film is a jump scare. The first ghost is a child with a creepy laugh track. The basement (That’s a horror thing, right?) is filled with mannequins in overthrows and catholic nativity shit. My first impressions were a salty mix of disappointment and I-told-you-so. There was already a bad taste in my mouth. Continue watching! Push through! Good bits are coming!
Yay! A positive! We switch it up a bit and head over to the UK for our next exciting exorcism. It’s the late 1970’s and our story this time around is the famous Enfield Haunting. I know something fresh is coming! I mean, they aren’t gonna do the whole swing moving on its own in the fog bit…Right? No possessed nightmare bits…right? Ouija boards? Creaking staircases? Haunted Paintings? Television channels changing on their own!? The first half of the film is nothing but a game of “Name the Cliche!” I’m not purposely nitpicking and this isn’t sour grapes. I want to like what I’m watching. I dislike disliking things.
I’m not saying that the film isn’t scary, I’m just saying that I’ve already seen this movie many times over. The atmosphere is there…the editing, the sound, the acting, the special effects – All of these are top notch. Also, I liked the two separate narratives that were brought together. It adds a certain dynamic to the film making it two interwoven stories rather than just one. As predictable as it was, it is still solid story telling. It has the right amount of suspense, fear and progression of story to make it a worthwhile watch. It’s an A-grade horror film, but it is only good because it’s an A-grade horror film. Does that make sense? It’s dots the I’s and crosses the T’s and does fuck all else.
None of the characters really develop at all. You don’t have any form of emotional connection to anyone. The entire story is abhorrently predictable (At least for me) from start to finish and nothing new whatsoever is brought to the table. Nothing. At all. The film takes everything that they know works as a horror/haunting movie, swallows it whole, and then simply regurgitates it with a new title. It’s still dripping with bile though.
The film’s run time also does it no favours. By the climax, we’ve lost a lot of the fear and suspense that is built up during the first few acts. As the mystery is stripped away, so are our fears of the unknown. There are only so many slamming doors, screams and imploding cutlery noises we can handle before they begin to lose that sense of dread.
As of my writing this review, The Conjuring 2 has a 7.7 on IMDB…And I get it. I get that this is an objectively good, well made movie. I get that it is probably pretty scary for your average filmgoer. I get that a younger audience is going to find a lot of this fresh, creepy and innovative. I understand why people liked this movie. I’m hoping that you understand why I did not.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.