Visuals / Camera
Pacing / Editing
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere
When I saw The Conjuring in theaters, I may as well not have slept for like a solid month afterwards. That movie scared the ever-loving piss out of me. Everywhere I walked in my house I checked for spirits leaping off shelves and little ghosts asking me if I want to play “hide and clap”. I’ve literally only watched The Conjuring the one time that I’ve seen it in theaters, I feel like I have to psych myself up to watch it a second time (same with Hush).
So when The Conjuring 2 trailer came out, I was stoked. I would get to be scared again! (I like to be scared if it’s of my own volition, not a situation that I cannot actively control, just to be clear).
My boyfriend and I geared up to go see it, opening night, premium premiere time – 7 p.m., because as we all know, it’s all right that you start a scary movie when it’s still light outside, right?
The Conjuring 2 opens with Ed and Lorraine Warren having a seance at the Amityville House. Yep, you guessed it, THAT Amityville House. Lorraine enters into a hypnotic trance and begins seeing the events that transpired that started the Amityville Horror.
***Spoilers to follow. Stop reading if you intend to see The Conjuring 2 but have not yet seen it.***
Lorraine follows a demonic nun figure into the basement and asks what it wants. The nun points to Ed, who is brutally impaled. In real life, Ed is able to break Lorraine out of her hypnosis, where she is inconsolable, and tells Ed that this is “as close to hell that she ever wants to get”.
Taking a break from the Warrens, we meet the Hodgson family in London, England, and become familiar with Janet, the second oldest of four children. After bouts of sleepwalking, and holding a conversation with a man that only she can see and speak for, horrifying events, including one involving a zoetrope toy character named “The Crooked Man”, start transpiring that reach the Warrens, who are requested by a local church to aide in ridding the house and Janet of the possession.
While Lorraine is still afraid of her vision, she agrees to go meet the family, and encounters the demonic nun again, asking its name before being awoken by her daughter from an apparent nightmare, violently carving in her Bible.
Ed and Lorraine attempt to converse with the spirit, who reveals himself to be Bill Wilkins, the elderly man who died in the house. He begins speaking nonsense and the conversation comes to an end as a result. More events surround Ed and Lorraine’s stay in the Hodgson home, including Janet being pulled through the floor into her cross-filled (and chained from the outside) room, tortured by Bill, and the trashing of the kitchen, the latter of the two being caught on video and revealing Janet to be the one trashing the kitchen, making her claims out to be false.
As Ed and Lorraine board a train, Ed decides to overlap the audio of Bill speaking nonsense, and finds out that he is saying, “Help me they won’t let me go!” Lorraine deduces a riddle from the spirit and together, they reach the conclusion that Bill is just a pawn for the real demon, the demonic nun that has been haunting her since Amityville.
Everyone except Janet is locked out of the house, and lightning strikes a tree outside the home, resembling the object that impaled Ed in Lorraine’s vision. Against Lorraine’s pleading, Ed enters the house alone and saves Janet from jumping to her death onto the tree, but finds himself struggling to keep his grip on the curtain he grabbed to avoid his fall. Lorraine discovers that she wrote the name of the demonic nun in her Bible during her nightmare, thus solving the riddle and giving her the power to condemn the demon back to hell. She saved Ed and Janet from falling at the last minute.
As they return home, Ed shelves the zoetrope in his conduit collection, and he and Lorraine dance.
The end of the movie reveals that Janet’s mother, Peggy, lived in the house until she died, in the same chair that Bill had died in 40 years earlier.
This movie is a solid A. It didn’t scare me as much as the first, but it did make me cringe and squirm in my seat a few times. I had to dig my nails into my legs and just keep my eyes glued to the screen for what was next.