Director James Wan, who made the seventh The Fast and the Furious entry between the two Conjuring movies, has figured out how to adapt the genre to the blockbuster age, when studios are batting for a home run every time they step to the plate.
Consider that for a moment: Scary happenings at the Amityville house-second only in horror iconography to the Bates house in Psycho, the subject of 14 movies and numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and semi-fiction-are a mere throat-clearing for The Conjuring 2.
The Conjuring 2 mostly justifies the bloat, because Wan’s style is wonderfully energized and nimble, with a camera that roves quickly, sometimes madly, toward danger and a restless escalation of stakes.
After a vision at Amityville prophecies her husband’s death and brings a frightening new demon into her conscience, Lorraine insists they take a step back from active casework and act strictly as consultants instead. It doesn’t happen, of course, but the depth of feeling between them gives the supernatural threat more weight.
Seven years after Amityville, Ed and Lorraine are summoned to a modest old home in the London borough of Enfield, w single mother Peggy Hodgson and her four children are besieged by a poltergeist.
As with The Conjuring and his two Insidious movies, Wan lifts from a generous smorgasbord of influences, combining the urban possession of The Exorcist and the multi-dimensional child abduction of Poltergeist with Spielbergian moments of humor and wonder.
T are at least five or six full-body shivers in The Conjuring 2, and most of them come through jump-scares done right, with each ghoulish surprise punctuated by blasts of unholy guttural noise.
Wan brings the monster vividly to life, and in its scaled-up hokum, The Conjuring 2 charts a future for studio horror.