Review: The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2

4.5 Stars


The Conjuring 2 is an excellent horror movie. The director and actors do a phenomenal job telling the story–which is made that much scarier by the fact that it is based on true events.

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Do you like to be scared? The Conjuring 2 will not disappoint you.

My wife and I attended a screening of The Conjuring 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse, followed by a Q&A session with director James Wan, and actresses Vera Farmiga and Madison Wolfe. The movie was thrilling and the commentary from Wan, Farmiga and Wolfe was fascinating.

The Conjuring 2 is a movie that claims to be based on true events–chronicling the story of the infamous Enfield haunting and the efforts of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Wikipedia entry for the Enfield Poltergeist provides some general background on the alleged events:

In August 1977, single parent Peggy Hodgson called police to her rented home in Enfield after two of her four children claimed that furniture was moving and knocking sounds were heard on walls. The children included Margaret, age 13, Janet, age 11, Johnny, age 10 and Billy, age 7. A police constable saw a chair slide on the floor but could not determine if it moved by itself or was pushed by someone. Later claims included allegedly demonic voices, loud noises, thrown rocks and toys, overturned chairs and levitation of children. Reports of further incidents in the house attracted considerable press attention and the story was covered in British newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, until reports came to an end in 1979.

Interestingly, the Wikipedia entry does not seem to mention or reference the Warren’s in any way, but the basic details of the haunting as described in the Wikipedia entry are reflected in the movie, including the investigation by Maurice Gross, and the skepticism of Anita Gregory.

Ed and Lorraine Warren are famous for their paranormal investigations, which include the Rhode Island haunting depicted in the first Conjuring movie as well as the infamous Amityville haunting. The Conjuring 2 touches briefly on the Warren’s involvement in the Amityville case, which also lays some foundation for the haunting in Enfield, as well as a basic plot revolving around Ed and Lorraine.

I enjoy horror movies in general, but I am personally much more engaged and frightened during a movie that is based on true events–or at least seems plausible in real life. The fact that the Enfield haunting is highly documented and there is third-party corroboration (as well as skepticism) about the events that occurred makes the movie more “real” for me.

I do find it interesting that these sorts of activities seemed prevalent in the 1970’s–keeping the Warren’s very busy it seems–and yet no longer seem to occur. Everyone has smartphones with cameras to capture strange or scary events, and we have YouTube to share them, but somehow these sorts of demonic possessions and poltergeist-like activities no longer seem very prevalent. Perhaps I’m just not looking in the right place, but it seems to me that if strange events such as those documented in Enfield were occurring today it would be global news…or at least a viral YouTube video.

In the Q & A interview after the screening, director James Wan talked about his style of shooting the movie in long takes rather than filming multiple scenes and piecing them together in the editing room. Madison Wolfe, the young actress who plays Janet Hodgson–the girl who is the focus of the haunting–talked about some of the acrobatics involved as the camera would pan past her and she would quickly sprint down the stairs or across the house to jump into position before the camera finished panning to her new location.

Wan and Vera Farmiga–who plays Lorraine Warren–also talked about a scene where Patrick Wilson–the actor who plays Ed Warren–plays the guitar and sings Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love. Wilson does Elvis justice with an excellent rendition of the song.

I don’t want to spoil any specific scenes or scares from the movie. Suffice it to say that The Conjuring 2 is an excellent horror movie. I highly recommend you go see for yourself.

About Tony Bradley 67 Articles
Tony is Editor-in-Chief of PopSpective, and a prolific writer on a wide range of topics from movies and music to computer security and tech gadgets.

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