Not many #horror sequels outshine the first, but horror director and writer, James Wan ('Insidious', 'Saw') has managed to do so with the next installment of 'The Conjuring' horror film franchise. Just like the first movie, James Wan takes inspiration from the real case files of #paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
This time around the Warren's, played by Patrick Wilson ('The Conjuring,' 'Insidious') and Vera Farmiga ('The Conjuring,' 'Bates Motel'), are less enthusiastic about continuing their paranormal investigating careers. Lorraine decides to call it quits after her frightening experience at the 'The Amityville Horror' house in Long Island, New York which she recalls as the closest to hell that she's ever been. Visions of Ed's gruesome death committed by a devilish looking nun taunts Lorraine and we finally understand the root of her fear and the reason she locked herself away in the first film for eight days.
Despite Lorraine's fears and having their paranormal research mocked by academics and the media alike, the Warren's are urged to travel to London to investigate strange happenings in an Enfield residence. Stressed out single mother Peggy Hodgson and her four children are being threatened by a vengeful poltergeist who craves 11-year old Janet's soul. Much of the film follows the Hodgson family as they desperately try to find answers, protect each other, and prove that what's happening to them is not a hoax.
In the beginning, the audience is introduced to the family's dynamic, the setting and time period of late 1970's England, as well as the intense fear and dread they're feeling after the first encounter with the poltergeist. Soon, we start to care for the family and hope their suffering ends. Throughout the film, we also witness the intense love and adoration the Warren's have for each other and a few moments of comic relief to lighten the bleak mood of the film.
Many consider James Wan a modern day horror movie master.
Wan is an expert at using sound, music, voice-overs, quick edits, flashbacks, and disturbing close-ups to invoke fear. He spins children's toys, rhymes, and riddles, as well as storybook characters into nightmarish symbols and motifs that will haunt you well after the movie ends.
'The Conjuring 2' is a worthy sequel to the first despite using a very similar story line and scare tactics. The Warren's are the new horror icons and a third movie is guaranteed to succeed. Kudos to James Wan who has breathed new life into the typical "haunted house" genre. If you think leaving the house will be your saving grace then you're wrong.