A; Horror, thriller
Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe
The camerawork is strong and has potency, but the lack of efficacy in the tricks department makes it fruitless
Three years after The Conjuring wracked up chills from its old-school horror tricks, the dreaded (for paranormal beings) demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are back in the sequel and they now have a new terror to contend with — one that harkens back to the horrifying Amityville horror incident. The prologue, in fact, takes you back into the past with Ed and Lorraine conducting the investigations and being appraised by an apparition of sorts that foretells Ed’s possible demise. The action then shifts to working-class England, Enfield to be precise, where a mother (Frances O’Connor) and her four kids (Madison Wolfe in particular) reside in a house that’s off the beaten track (as you may have expected).
And it all comes from the documented case files of the Warrens of Connecticut who gained both renown and notoriety from their most publicised ghost-busting (Amityville Horror). Penned by sibling screenwriting duo Chad and Carey Hayes, the co-scriptwriters of the original, this one has all the James Wan tricks of yore coming at you in full measure. The Warrens connect with the Hodgsons and the horror unfolds in expected fashion. Genre-dread is worked up around the haunting of the daughter (Madison Wolfe) who appears to have been possessed by an old man — that explains her eerie speech patterns. And it’s up to the evangelical duo to exorcise the evil spirit from the body of the young girl — of course it’s not without incident.
Wan uses all the tricks at his disposal, but it’s all been done before (that’s the sense we get) — even though the familiar appears to have been regurgitated with an eye to current trends. The sudden jolts, sound blasts, clap tricks and dark eerie atmosphere feel jaded somewhat, so the effect is feeble. Wan also dips back into Conjuring for his fear-inducing arsenal and it’s nowhere near as powerful as the original’s. The characters are poorly scripted-in so attachment is also near impossible. The camerawork is strong and has potency, but the lack of efficacy in the tricks department makes it fruitless. This one is mainly a memorial to the past and may well get the fans worked up because of it. In terms of scares, there’s precious little to get worked up about.
Watch the trailer of 'The Conjuring 2'