James Wan is back in town! One of my favorite directors in Hollywood today once again brings the world another vintage haunting-horror film, that being The Conjuring 2. I thought the first Conjuring was great, refreshing horror flick for the modern era. Nothing was too innovative about about the first one, but it knew how to build genuine tension.

Conjuring 2 impressively upgrades its writing, imagery, and performances from its predecessor in another thrilling installment. Finally, a great horror sequel!

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The Conjuring 2 is directed by James Wan and is the second film in the Conjuring movie series, not including Annabelle (2014) because screw Annabelle. This film once again stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed & Lorraine Warren, the married couple that happens to be Demonologists. We follow yet another classic case file of the Warrens as they travel to London to help a family that’s being haunted by an evil entity and more specifically, come to the aid of the young little girl of this tormented family.

Right away I gotta say, I had a ton of fun watching this movie, the tension is palpable and suspenseful. To me, that’s the best about this genre of movies, you’re suppose to feel scared and on edge! Not a lot of horror movies do that for me nowadays. The build up of tension is on point and that’s thanks in part to the cinematographic and eerie sound effects that were used throughout this film.

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Once again, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have fantastic chemistry with one another. They really felt like a married couple that is firmly grounded in this film’s world, meaning their characters and their portrayals felt naturally real. I easily bought into their story just as I did in the first Conjuring, as both of them played off each actions and dialogue very well. Plus, The Ed & Lorraine’s story arc once again showcases the realism and stakes that this plot introduces incredibly well done with their respective performances.

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Madison Wolfe as the 11-year old girl and main target of the hauntings, is actually really good in this film! You get a sense of fear in her facial expressions and actions throughout the story, she gave a very believable performance. Anyone could argue that this young girl was the key player in this movie and to be honest, you’d have a strong case. A lot of this film relies on her being good in her role, if she didn’t deliver at certain parts, I don’t think this movie wouldn’t have been as strong as it was.

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There are two things that definitely need to be praised in this film and that’s cinematographic and the tension building. First off, James Wan did an excellent job using specific camera angles and lighting to effectively demonstrate how real horror should be viewed and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. As someone who really appreciates art, the phase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is undoubtedly done justice in this movie.

In addition, the tension that is built throughout is well-deserved. I was on edge for a good majority of this movie, James Wan truly knows how to earn real scares from his audience. Yes, there’s jump scares and some of them come off as cliche, but they work so energetically well here that you can forgive it in an instance and enjoy the story from then on. This style of directing is starting to become a signature trademark for The Conjuring and I can dig it.

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When it comes down to it guys, this movie, in my opinion, exceeded in all of the horror tropes from its predecessor that debuted three years ago. This sequel fired on all cylinders and all in all, everything pays off well. I had a couple of nitpicks, but I was still thoroughly entertained by this flick. The story is interesting, the characters are built well, the dialogue is solid, the performances are great, and the visuals are stunningly awesome.

I’m going to give The Conjuring 2 an “A-” on the movie grading scale. Check this one out in theaters while it’s still around, seeing it with a crowd of people definitely added to the viewing experience as a whole. Everyone will likely be screaming for the most part, but it’ll still be a fun time nonetheless.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

– Frank

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