Back in the 90’s and even the 80’s horror sequels were all the rage. We have 12 Jason Movies, 8 Freddy movies, 10 Halloween movies, and like 7 or 8 Leprechaun movies. Having a part 2 back then often meant a sequel rushed into production and in many ways became a cash cow that ultimately went stale and still went on. James Wan has been a pioneer of horror for over 10 years getting his first big directorial debut with the original SAW film. He’s gone on to direct many other horror films that include 2 chapters in the Insidious franchise. In many ways not only is he an amazing guy but this is the go to guy of my generation when it comes to horror. After doing “The Conjuring” he got out of his roots and directed “Furious 7,” and then made a rare move to jump back into horror with the sequel to his huge box office smash.
“The Conjuring” to me was the definition of a horror film. While it had amazing scares, characters, and direction it also had that rare unnerving feeling that really lets you get inside the movie. I never thought I’d see the day an R rated horror film would make more than $100 million. It wasn’t about jump scares. I honestly think it is the best horror film of the last 9 or 10 years. That is until now.
The Conjuring 2 in every way blows the first film out of the water, which I thought was an impossible feat. Much like the first film it opens on a case the Warren’s are attempting to solve. In the first film it was the Annabelle doll. In this film it starts out with one of my favourite haunted stories, The Amityville Horror. I won’t say much but it was a brilliant idea to incorporate that story with the one told here. Keep in mind everything is true. Well, I guess that it depends on if you believe. At this point we get right into our new family all the way in London. Something from the Warren’s past has moved over there. A young girl is suddenly starting to see things. She’s starting to hear things. While this may sound generic I can promise you it’s anything but. After the Amityville house haunting the Warren’s are debating whether to continue their practice or not because Lorraine Warren has a dark secret that traces all the way back to the first film. The activity gets worse and worse for the new family and the Warrens decide to join them in London to try to exercise the demon!
It’s hard to write this without giving away any spoilers but all I can say is if you liked the first one I promise you that you will love the second one. Everything works. It runs over 2 hours long and the film does not stop from the very beginning. I literally screamed at the best scare of the film and it was only 15 minutes in. They don’t overdue the horror or the ghosts. It’s beautifully shot in this amazing gothic era type film. The location of London works perfectly. The relationship between the Warren’s was great. I got the pleasure of watching the film with director James Wan and it’s very clear now why he decided to return to horror. Everything in the trailer still feels very fresh and new for the film and trust me all the best parts are not in the trailer. There score is also just as important to a horror film as the look and the music really gets things deep under your skin!
This is probably the easiest review I’ve ever written because there is no negative to the film at all. I mean I literally jumped out of my seat. Forget a slow build up, or not getting the best scares until the end. The film starts and doesn’t stop. Ever. It’s a high level of classy horror cinema. You really love how the family realises right away there’s a problem in this house and the Warren’s are there to solve the case. This means the characters know it’s dangerous and that they should definitely not go into the basement but they have to because it’s there job. It’s nice to see such strong leading characters. Plus the development is great.
Go see this movie this weekend! I promise it will satisfy you. It’s just smart, clever, scary, funny, unnerving, and much more. It just may be the horror film of the decade. Also, re-watch the first film because it’s good and you will want a recap to fully enjoy its sequel.
Review by Kory Davis