Sequels often carry a burden of expectations/benchmark set by their earlier movies. The Conjuring was executed amazingly well even with the standard scary stuff and The Conjuring 2 stuck to the story flow approach of its predecessor but yet bringing in the novelty in terms of brand new location and a sub-plot. This franchisee is definitely beating Insidious hands down.
Based on a real life incident in late 70s – a family of single-mother and four kids in North London is terrorized to hell by a supposed ghost, often possessing one of the daughters. Warrens are called all the way from US to take a look at that and report back to the church. Their search encounters series of events that eventually discover the genesis of the Hodgson family’s nightmare. The climax is particularly well written with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seats.
I found the horror element comparatively less in this one compared to The Conjuring. Partly also because some of the scenes were too predictive as we not just seen them in the first movie but other horror movies as well. However, it doesn’t seem to be a mistake as much as it seems a deliberate attempt to stick to what worked in the first part and focus more on the story telling. It is the same dilemma that super hero movies face – whether they want to focus on out-of-the-world action sequences or focus on a compelling story.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have given stellar performances here. Particularly, Patrick has made himself more noticeable in this one. Frances O’Connor (as the single mother) and Madison Wolfe (her daughter) had the most challenging roles which they executed very well. The expressions of agony, fear, anger, disgust have been nailed to perfection and is particularly remarkable.
James Wan has stuck pretty much to what worked in the first movie. The direction is good overall. The scenes have been conceptualized well. Especially, the climax has been directed extremely well with some unpredictable sequences. The movie could have been a bit shorter as the first half of the movie is a bit of a drag.
The Conjuring 2 did just marginally well compared to its predecessor. However, it would be a bit unfair to keep comparing it with the first part. Independently, the movie is really good and presents some real good quality horror.