One of the scariest movies of 2016, was supposed to be THE CONJURING 2. As a horror movie buff, I couldn't wait to watch it, and I was seriously hoping for some scares and a gripping story.
Writing horror can be difficult. The first thing, writers must conceive, is an idea that will put their audience out of their comfort zones. It is the one thing that most people take for granted. A house is supposed to be a place where families are supposed to feel safe. Bedrooms are supposed to be a space where one sleeps and spends time in to do just whatever they want to.
We don't want to believe that the one place that we find solace and security in, can also be a ground where evil manifests.
There are plenty of haunted houses stories and movies, so when I began to watch THE CONJURING 2, my initial reaction was, 'oh, another haunted house movie.' Of course the franchise does these movies really well. THE CONJURING was actually a pretty creepy movie and did manage to scare me.
The sequel, honestly had some laugh inducing moments than 'horrified gasps' ones. But the one thing that the sequel does better is, develop the story of our favorite lovable couple- Ed and Lorraine Warren. They are the paranormal investigators and normally, one would think they had a pretty creepy and morbid profession.
But Ed and Lorraine are just two people in love and who share such incredible gifts. So, yes, it was nice to see more of these two.
The story begins in 1975, where Ed and Lorraine are investigating a paranormal activity at a home. When they hold a seance, Lorraine finds herself in the place of a murderer who kills the whole family. Her terrifying mind-journey doesn't end there. She encounters a demon dressed as a nun. Lorraine is shaken to her core and screams, thus snapping out of the seance.
Three years later, a family in Enfield England, begin experiencing a strange phenomenon in their house. The single mother and her four children are out of their wits. Then when one of the daughters, Janet, is thought to be possessed, the Warrens are requested to investigate if it is indeed a haunting or a hoax.
Lorraine doesn't sense anything unusual, the paranormal researchers find evidence which could suggest it is all part of an imaginative girl's mind. Everything is against the family and the Warrens leave, until it turns out that a demon from their past is the one that is playing a nasty trick on them.
For me, the movie felt divided in three parts that don't connect as seamlessly as it should be. In fact, the first part felt cliched and almost laughable, the second- a little frightening and the third a good tie-up of the story.
For the most part, I felt that the sequel borrowed quite a lot of scenes from its predecessor. The two sisters sharing a bedroom and something strange happening in the night, the whisperings in the dark behind the sister who doesn't believe her younger sister- the first part had all this and I was starting to get disappointed.
Then the focus shifted on the Warrens, and my interest was piqued. The scariest part of the movie was the nun and I'm glad there may be a spinoff about it. I would love to know how it came into being.
The second part of the movie did have some genuinely eerie moments, though nothing to that degree as was in the first.
What I did like about the movie was that it skipped the exorcism part which I tend to find bland in horror movies. Not because of the way the ritual is conducted, its because most movies make that the core of their stories rather than focus on the hauntings or the deeds conducted by the demons.
So to see the demon combated and defeated by taking its name was actually a little refreshing to see. I'm also so happy that Lorraine's vision didn't come true and Ed didn't die. It would have been terrible to see a sequel without one of them in it.
Back to the story, I also loved how terrified Janet is of the demon who forces her to fake an act to get the researchers to leave. Then when they do, she confesses to her family and it actually makes you think "uh-oh".
For the most part, even I believed that this true case, may be a hoax. It did seem something that could be caused by a girl experiencing multiple personality disorders. She did come from a family that was poor and her father had abandoned her and started a new family with someone else.
All this, may have taken a toll on her young mind and caused her mind to break and deal with this trauma.
I suppose the truth will never be found though.
THE CONJURING 2 is a must-watch for all horror genre fans. It is as decent horror movie as you can find and it has more startling moments than any other horror movie. The scenes may be predictable, but watch the movie for the Warrens. They are a certain delight to watch.