It has been a little over a year since I looked at The Conjuring for this series and to this very day I regret not watching these movies earlier. They are so well crafted with impeccable cinematography and pacing. Well, at least that is true for the core movies in The Conjuring franchise. Spin-offs like Annabelle and The Nun are sort of hit-and-miss.
I think one of the best examples of how great this can be lies with director James Wan. He was offered a massive pile of cash to direct The Fate of the Furious and he turned it down for an opportunity to help make The Conjuring 2. That is pretty special; to reject a huge paycheck in order to make a passion project speaks volumes to me.
Patrick Wilson and the always awesome Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren. If those names sound familiar, it is because the real world Warrens made a name for themselves investigating supposedly real paranormal cases. Like the first movie, The Conjuring 2 is based on a real life investigation – this time it is of the Hodgson family during the late 1970s. It’s an interesting case for a horror movie as skeptics point to several instances that make them believe the whole case was a fraud. One of the daughters – Janet Hodgson – was literally caught on video faking a supposed paranormal attack. That was worked into the plot of The Conjuring 2 in a rather clever way.
Wilson and Farmiga continue to have great chemistry together; it is easy to buy that they are a couple in love with each other. Farmiga’s character, Lorraine, is plagued by visions of her husband’s brutal death and she wants to cease their involvement with paranormal cases. I also want to point out the stellar performance of Madison Wolfe as Janet Hodgson. She displays terrific instincts as a young actress – especially for a horror film.
One of the things I like best about this movie is that it is the debut of the demon Valak; at least in the Conjuring universe. As you may know, Valak is also featured prominently in the 2018 flick, The Nun. If you watch The Conjuring 2 closely you will find several teases for the demon. For instance, look at the bookcase in the background of this scene and you will see wooden letters that spell out Valak’s name.
Little touches like these make these movies all the more fun to watch and Valak’s manifestation in the Warren family library remains one of my favorite moments of the entire series. You know its coming but the pacing of the scene still manages to startle you.
Even the Amityville house makes an appearance at the beginning of this film as the real life Warrens investigated that place as well. Unfortunately, the Amityville story is not explored in depth here – that is due to the film rights belonging elsewhere.
The Conjuring 2 is still a fairly fresh movie so I will not spoil the ending of the film. It is definitely worth a watch if you are looking for supernatural chills during this Halloween season.