MikeyB's Movie Night: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe

 Well I've finally gotten off my lazy ass and decided to write another review, and I'll guarantee you won't be surprised when I tell you its another horror film. The movie in our spotlight today is none other then the sequel to the surprise box office hit The Conjuring (2013). James Wan is back again behind the helm exploring another case file from Ed and Lorraine Warren. If you're not familiar with the Warren's I'll direct you here, but the short of it is that they were a rather famous husband and wife team who investigated paranormal phenomenon around the world. I absolutely loved the first Conjuring film which famously was "too scary for a PG-13 rating". So obviously I had very high hopes for this sequel. Did they pan out? Lets dive right in and find out!

 The story this time around concerns Ed and Lorraine's investigation into the case that would become known as "The Enfield Poltergeist". The Warrens are just wrapping up their investigation into "The Amityville Haunting" when Lorraine has a vision of Ed"s death. It shakes her so much that she feels like the couple need to take a step back from their paranormal investigations, but when they hear about the Hodgson family in Enfield, England that is being menaced and frighted by an evil presence in their home, Ed and Lorraine Warren fee called upon to "cross the pond" and see what help they can offer to the terrified family.

 So the big question is how did this sequel compare to its predecessor? Fairly well I'm happy to report! All the members of the Hodgson family are portrayed with utter believability, with the true standout being Madison Wolfe who plays "Janet Hodgson", who is the main focal point of maliciousness from the spirits that haunt the house. Once again Wilson and Farmiga bring the Warrens to life with wonderful chemistry and heart and James Wan proves once again how masterful he is at terrifying an audience. Employing everything from cinematography, lighting, set direction, and sound design to scare the piss out of you. The pace of the film is just brutal as there is barley time to catch your breath or relax before another harrowing sequence begins. My only two complaints of the film are that one of the villains designs felt a bit out of place for a film this serious, and there is a bit of CG in the finale that while not bad looking also feels out of place. All and all though this is one of the strongest horror sequels I've ever seen and is more then worth your time and money.

Trivia from IMDB for The Conjuring 2:

 James Wan was offered a "life altering" amount of money in order to direct Fast 8 (2017). However, he turned the opportunity down to direct The Conjuring 2 (2016). "I feel rejuvenated to tell a scary story one more time", James Wan said on Instagram.

 On the first day of shooting, a priest was brought in to bless the set.

 Unlike the original film, which was filmed with hopes of getting a PG-13 rating (though the studio and filmmakers were ultimately OK with the R that the MPAA assigned), the sequel was both written and directed with the intention that it get an R rating, which is in fact what the MPAA granted it.