The Conjuring 2, perhaps the most anticipated horror film of the year is, admittedly, one of those movies that made me do my fangirl happy dance when it was first announced. Let’s face it, the original Conjuring was damn near perfect, an undeniably epic horror masterwork that combined director James Wan’s ever evolving visual style with powerhouse performances by a phenomenally talented cast. How could a girl not wet her pants with glee at the possibility of that much awesomeness continuing on in a sequel?
Based on a true story (of an elaborate and well documented hoax…wiki it here), The Conjuring 2 finds original protagonists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, reprising their roles beautifully) making the trip to England to investigate the haunting of a young Enfield family. The Hodgsons, most specifically 11 year old Janet (Madison Wolfe), are being plagued by the spirit of an elderly man who died in a ratty old chair in their house and whose furniture the family inexplicably purchased when taking over the home…you got it folks, it’s a haunted bloody chair.
The spirit, whose ragged breathing sounds suspiciously similar to that respirator ghost from Insidious 3, speaks through young Janet and, following the typical haunting manual (I assume there is one), makes her do all kinds of creepy crap like levitating and teleporting and busting up her mom’s already shitty kitchen. It could have been a hell of a ride. All the important horror elements are there, creepy kids, spooky sets, religious iconography, hell, they’ve even got a ghoulish demon nun who looks an awful lot like Marilyn Manson. All the genre goodies are in place and primed to scare the wits out of the viewing public.
Unfortunately, The Conjuring 2 doesn’t live up to its predecessor… with all that anticipation, I should have known I was in for a fucking let down…again.
Okay, to be fair, the movie isn’t bad or anything, in fact, it’s pretty good for the most part… I guess. And yet, it JUST didn’t work for me…daaaammmn it (whines like a 2 year old).
For all its buildup and flawless performances, there was just something so unbearably hokey about this movie that it left a sour taste in my mouth. The Elvis sing-a-long for one (WTF?), the Ed-Lorraine love-fest (barf…whatever, I’m not a romantic), the Tim Burton-esque Crooked Man and, to top it all off, the cartoonish and decidedly un-scary demon that emerges in the finale.
I wasn’t exactly expecting the reinvention of the wheel here, but fuck, I was hoping to be more scared than bored. Still, most reviews of Wan’s latest have been positive and most of the screaming young women who had been in the same theater as me, went on and on (and on) after the film ended about how scared they were and about how “spooky awesome” (actual quote) the movie was. So maybe my lack of love for this film is just me being jaded…or maybe not.
As it stands, I’m certain The Conjuring 2 won’t be lacking an audience this summer, and in an alarmingly thin year for horror, it’s at the very least a movie worth checking out for yourselves…or you could just rewatch the first one…just sayin’.
Seen this flick and have a different opinion, well I can’t wait to hear it. Drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook and if you like what you read here at A Girl’s Guide to Horror then be a bloody peach and click that Like button 😉