Friday, 10 June 2016

Film Review: "The Conjuring 2" (2016).

The next true story from the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren comes The Conjuring 2. This supernatural horror film directed by James Wan, and written by Wan, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes and David Leslie Johnson. It is the sequel to the film The Conjuring. Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to assist the Hodgson family, a single mother raising four children alone, who are experiencing poltergeist activity filled with malicious spirits at their Enfield council house in 1977.

In July 2013, Variety reported that New Line Cinema was already in the early stages of development of a sequel, following the positive test screenings and reviews of The Conjuring. The initial screenplay for the sequel was by original scribes Chad and Carey Hayes and director James Wan, which was revised by Eric Heisserer. In January 2015, David Leslie Johnson had been enlisted to provide additional script rewrites. The film deals with the case of the Enfield Poltergeist, which took place in the London Borough of Enfield from 1977 to 1979, and involved the alleged haunting of two sisters, aged 11 and 13, at their mother's council house. In February 2014, it was confirmed that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were set to reprise their roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren. In October 2014, it was announced that the film was pushed to June 2016 from its original October 23, 2015 release date. In addition, Wan was confirmed to return to direct, and that production would begin in the summer of 2015. "I feel rejuvenated to tell a scary story one more time", Wan said on Instagram. In September 2015, Frances O'Connor, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Simon Delaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and newcomers Madison Wolfe, Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh joined the cast. In December 2015, it was confirmed that Sterling Jerins would reprise her role as the Warrens' daughter Judy. Principal photography began in September 2015, in Los Angeles. Due to inexplicable eerie events during production of the first film, a priest from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe was brought in to bless the set on the first day by the film's producers. Production then moved to London in November 2015. Filming concluded in December 2015.

The film stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe and Simon McBurney. The cast gave terrific performances, with Wilson and Farmiga delving deeper into their characters and relationship. The new additions did a terrific job of maintaining the human drama, and making feel real as opposed to silly and cliched.

The Conjuring 2 is surprisingly not short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling. The film is artfully eerie, thanks to Wan's masterful direction, Don Burgess' cinematography and the pervasively unsettling score created by Joseph Bishara. Setting aside the movie’s tediously busy script and its few predictable scares, the scares are mostly very scary indeed, and that means the film has done its job.

Simon says The Conjuring 2 receives:

Also, see my review for Furious 7.

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