Director: James Wan
Okay, that was a couple of jumpy hours and what's worse for me is going home to an empty Victorian maisonette and having to think twice about reading up on the trivial about this movie on IMDb, because I know I'm gonna find something disturbing that's going to remind me about the film, and the fact it's a true story. So, instead I am in and out checking my Facebook feed in my kitchen with Spotify playing nice cheery tracks, while I try write this.
I remember enjoying the first Conjuring but there's little about it and there's probably a reason why. It's dark with those pockets of shadowy areas just to let something lurk there, mostly your imagination but it works. James Wan returns for the sequel, the same man who gave us Saw, Insidious and Fast & Furious 7. (Obviously fancied a change from scaring people senseless.)
What I do remember, and I'm not going digging, but the true horror story this film is based on. I remember seeing those pictures in ghost story books I used to read as a child, but I had never heard the recordings, that play during the end credits with snippets of undesirable things. With the continual choir harping away as the final credits rolled, it was like leaving a haunted house.
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as married paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren who sent to Enfield, England by the church to observe one of the most famous paranormal incidences ever to be documented. Though, it seems the story has been extended and twisted to relate to the two demonologists and to add dramatic and demonic effect. It worked.
Wan does a chilling job using plenty of horror film techniques to create the right tension and haunting atmosphere with some clever tricks to increase the anxiety. He beefs out the story quite a bit which gives the film a slowish pace to begin with but it soon speeds up to the cinematic ending.
Youngster Madison Wolfe does great as the possessed Hodgson and Simon McBurney plays a quirky and convincing Maurice Grosse. Franka Potente (Bourne Identity, Run Lola Run) hasn't been on the big screen that much over recent years and she makes an appearance here. Bonnie Aarons and Javier Botet play amazing demonic creations but don't necessarily have the iconic power other movie monsters have.
The sound is superbly done with all the creaking and banging with a looming score from Joseph Bishara. Doubt it's one people would listen to on a Sunday night, especially during the witching hour. But it certainly adds to the atmosphere.
It certainly did what it's suppose to do and scare the crap out of me, getting me agitated and clammy in parts. You could feel the tension with the rest of the audience. And yes, I jumped and may have let out a little swear word in the guise of a scream. I also spent a fair amount of time asking why, just why. Why would you do that?
Its possibly one of those rare occasions where the sequel is actually better than the first, it at least carries the very same vibe across and I would welcome seeing another case if Wan is again at the helm. It's the type of film that'll make you wanna go to church, and yes, I'm sleeping with the light on and music playing. Now be gone with you evil spirits!!
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for doing what it says on the tin, true horror classic to be held up with the best.