New horror films hardly ever receive praise with even the best modern instalments getting mixed reviews at best, but this all changed in 2013 when horror fans around the world were treated to the modern classic that is The Conjuring, which showed new horror in a new light to the critics.
Then the franchise sort of lost the aforementioned new light with its dreadful prequel/spin-off Annabelle.
So when The Conjuring 2 was released it was seen as an opportunity for the series to regain its credibility and I am happy to announce that it does just that.
First of all let me start by saying that this film is utterly terrifying, relying surprisingly little on jump scares and rather the suspense of the jump scare fake-out. Often the reliance on intensity is a welcome breath of fresh air to the boring rut of jump-scare based horror films. The make-up and costume department are also to be heavily commended on the simply terrifying appearance of the films main antagonist, Valak, a demon that for the most part of the film to appears as a nun for the purposes of blasphemy.
The writing staff must also be praised for not only the terrifying demon, but for creating a whole host of terrifying characters for the film, as well as the previously mentioned Valak, we were also treated to the terrifying, beyond-the-grave pensioner Bill Wilkins, and the nursery rhyme inspired, child’s toy dwelling Crooked Man. The creation of characters in this film is not the only example of the excellent writing on display here; there are also two great stories that come together with a pretty good plot twist/connective to draw everything to a close. The only problem I can see with the writing is a slightly convoluted ending with the demon being defeated by Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) who merely says its name to send it running scared. Now I know this is what people genuinely believed got rid of demons, but this is not the biggest issue I have, but rather how Lorraine managed to know the demons name, the answer to that question is, it told her. That seems like the laziest kind of writing in my option, it also made no sense, but other than that, this was a solidly written picture.
As far as acting performances go, there was nobody in this film that did not give a good performance, if I had to pick a standout I would have to go with Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren, showing a lot more care and diversity to the character. This is not to take credit away from anyone in this film though, as I’ve previously mentioned, there were no faults in the acting, I cannot stress this enough.
To summarise, I think this film was a welcome, redeeming addition to its series, and even though the writing got a little bit lazy at the very end it was not enough to overshadow this film which was a triumph in the horror genre.
I rate this film: 7.5/10