Director: James Wan
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor
Release Date: September 13, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Reprising their roles, Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up In the Air,” TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the “Insidious” films), star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Picking up a short while after the terrifying events of the first film, ‘The Conjuring 2’ rejoins the husband and wife team of paranormal investigators Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) Warren. Following their investigation into a heinous set of murders, Lorraine receives a vision displaying Ed’s death which results in the two reluctantly agreeing to take a break from their dangerous job. Yet once reports of a family in the English town of Enfield who are being potentially terrorized by a dangerous spirit hit the church, the couple agree to investigate, accepting the task of deciphering whether it’s in fact a real entity or merely the clever motives of an attention seeking child. As their investigation leads to more questions and one bit of evidence seems to contradict another, things soon take a terrifying turn and one way or another the truth will surely be unveiled, but at what cost?
Once again directed by the incredibly talented James Wan (Insidious, Saw) from a script he also co-wrote along with the screenwriters of the first film Carey Hayes and Chad Hayes, in addition to David Leslie Johnson (Orphan). Wan does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘The Conjuring 2’ once again showcasing his talent for capturing even the most basic of images with a unique beauty and delivering the scares with effortless ease. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the talented folks who comprise the cast including Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson both reprising their roles, along with Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Lauren Esposito and a number more, nearly all of whom deliver capable performances (at the very least) in each of their respective roles.
‘The Conjuring 2’ is an excellent follow up to its terrifying predecessor and while it may not quite reach the level of outstanding the original managed to achieve, it’s not far behind either and delivers no shortage of indelible imagery and more than enough eerie and frightening moments to satisfy the genre fans. Talented director James Wan does a phenomenal job guiding the sequel along and contributing his unique style, managing to transform even some of the most generic and mundane images into a thing of true beauty with his fantastic shooting decisions, and his guidance is perfectly complemented by the wonderful pairing of the talented Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who effortlessly slip back into their respective roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The second entry in the series (surely well on its way to franchise status following the success of both entries) escalates the intensity and brings a notable increase in the terrifying moments which both harms the building uneasy tension to a degree, while also helping to keep folks uncertain of what and when to expect it. Any fan of the original and James Wan’s work in general will definitely want to make sure and give this one a whirl if you haven’t yet had the pleasure; it’s definitely a solid horror sequel which should easily please the majority of fans.
Overall, ‘The Conjuring 2’ is a wonderful follow up to the terrifying original that while perhaps lingering just beneath its predecessor in overall quality, nonetheless manages to provide a healthy supply of eerie and terrifying moments throughout. Once again directed with gorgeous precision by James Wan and featuring a solid cast, I would highly recommend ‘The Conjuring 2’ to any fans of the first entry who missed this one during its theatrical run. And for any genre fans who may have miraculously missed both films in the series, I can’t recommend them highly enough, you definitely won’t want to miss out on these outstanding horror gems.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Conjuring 2’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole, delivering a consistently sharp, clean and detailed presentation throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences which are so prominent within the film, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily please both the fans and casual viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack compliments the overall viewing experience wonderfully and provides a crisp, clean and often notably aggressive soundtrack from start to finish. It frequently utilizes all seven available channels in order to send a barrage of creepy effects and unsettling floods of whispers; along with plenty more throughout the various speakers, if not assaulting you from all fronts simultaneously; while always managing to make certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a phenomenal Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes another level of creepiness in itself and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Conjuring 2’ includes some enjoyable and informative extras. Included on the release are a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 7 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a collection of behind the scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast, crew and real life individuals involved, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Crafting The Conjuring 2’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘The Enfield Poltergeist: Living the Horror’ (approximately 13 minutes), ‘Creating Crooked’ (7 minutes), ‘The Sounds of Scary’ (7 minutes), and ‘The Conjuring 2: Hollywood’s Haunted Stage’ (5 minutes).