The Conjuring 2 (2016), Dir. James Wan

The Conjuring 2 (2016), Dir. James Wan
...Murdered his crooked family and laughed a crooked laugh!
— Janet Hodgson, The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon McBurney, Robin Atkin Downes.
Director: James Wan
Screenplay: James Wan, David Johnson & Chad Hayes.

Why do I always put myself through these movies. Every time I think to myself "there is no reason to be scared, it's just a movie, go and enjoy it."—then half way through I have to leave for a "bathroom break", or rather regain my composure. The Conjuring 2 while not as suspenseful as the first is a banger of a movie.

Taking place in late 70's London, a single mother (Peggy Hodgson played by Frances O'Connor) of two girls and two boy's house has been taken over by an evil spirit. At the same time in the US, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) has had a vision of a demonic figure that is plaguing her with the future death or her Husband Ed (Patrick Wilson). She reads this as a sign to stop investigating paranormal activity for the church. But when they hear of the Hodgson Family's ordeal they agree to observe the family to see if their claim is indeed true.

The youngest daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) has been routinely possessed by Bill Wilkins (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes), a 72 year old dead man who once lived and died in the Hodgson's home. He talks through her, to her, and can teleport her to any place in the house—even through locked doors. There are many occasions where they think Janet is faking it and has been forced by her mum to go along with this hoax—including Lorraine and Ed at one stage.

This film is good, like really good. There is something about James Wan's directing style that allows this film to feel randomly overly dramatic as these films spend a long time focussing on Ed and Lorraine's relationship. However even if it feels trite and the focus should really be on the suspense of the evil spirit, it somehow still works (even if your brain is telling you it doesn't).

His style also works exceedingly well in regards to suspense. The kind where you know his tricks; the turn to the mirror and see a slight figure in the shadows, to the character hearing something so they and the camera follow the sound to see nothing, then back to the mirror and see the figure right behind them, then the character turning with the camera to see nothing, then the character turns back to the mirror to see the figure is right in front of them about to attack. You 100% expect this to happen but nonetheless it is still terrifying and I have my knees surgically attached to my chin and hands ready to cover my face.

This film is not afraid to discuss religion, nor shy away from talking about god, demons, heaven or hell. I think horror films are the only place left in Hollywood where this is acceptable. I am not really religious but it is nice to see that films don't have to hide away the central core of what makes this film work. Ed and Lorraine fight against evil with the light of god.

Another great horror that is easily accessible even to those who are not major fans of the genre.