In my review of the Conjuring, I gushed about the cast and the way they seemed to gel. There was a chemistry there that I felt made the movie far better than it would have been without that chemistry — it didn’t necessarily make it scarier, but it made me care a lot more about the characters.
This movie actually tells two interlinked stories: that of the Warrens, specifically their personal dealings with a demon and Lorraine seeing something awful that makes her reluctant to continue in their line of work (this is a bigger factor in the first movie), and that of the Hodgson family in England. The latter family are also being haunted, specifically one of the daughters, and it’s turning their lives upside down.
I’m not going to get into the real world aspects of this because there are some references to actual events — Amityville — because even though the movie has its basis in some definite and claimed events, it’s a dramatic take on those and we all know that. It’s not meant to be a documentary. Thank God for that, because you’re allowed to suspend disbelief and enjoy the film and not think about any actual horrors.
This movie also fleshes out the Nun character who gets her own spin-off (starring Vera Farmiga’s younger sister Taissa), which is a nice direction to go given that we’re all still waiting on a third Conjuring film.
As mentioned, we have the returning Warrens played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and they get along great as the couple on film. But again there’s a fairly large family being haunted and that means child actors and once again the folks casting for these movies did a damn good job of it, be it the Conjuring or the Annabelle movies. Blumhouse is pretty good at that, too, which is part of why I’m doing both “universes” for this.
This is one of the longer movies I’ve reviewed for this, and it’s worth the length because of the way the pacing works. It also has one big swerve toward the end that kind of deflates everyone in the movie and sets up a hell of a finale. I think my favorite movie so far in this universe is the first Conjuring, but this movie is a strong second place — this movie is great.
Running Time: Two hours, fourteen minutes.
Acting: Good, and the cast definitely gels again.
Effects: Standard fare moving furniture and stuff mostly.
Violence: A little.
Gun Use: No.
Creepy? Yes, and again there’s a scary old character.
Monster Type? A demon.
Funny? There’s a few laughs actually.
Pacing: A pretty decent build.