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Review: Not Only Does The Conjuring 2 Not Suck, It’s Actually Scary Good

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Vera Farming as Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring 2 (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Vera Farming as Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring 2 (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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When a sequel is announced, I roll my eyes. When a horror sequel is announced, I usually find the announcement much scarier than the movie itself. That being said, The Conjuring 2 is actually the rare horror sequel that works – so much so, I’m looking forward to the (inevitable?) sequel. The fact that the film, like the original, is based on a true story, ups the ante even more. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as the real-life paranormal investigation team, Ed and Lorraine Warren. In 1971, the Warrens investigated the case of the Perron family in Rhode Island. This case was the basis of The Conjuring.

The Conjuring 2 begins in 1976 with the Warrens investigating The Amityville Horror case. The Amityville haunting garnered worldwide attention, and the Warrens themselves became media sensations due to their involvement. Thus, when a poltergeist starts wreaking havoc in an Enfield neighborhood home in London, garnering widespread attention in 1977, the Church calls the Warrens in to investigate. The poltergeist is terrorizing the Hodgson family, consisting of mother Peggy (Frances O’Connor), her 13-year-old daughter Margaret, 10-year-old son Johnny and 9-year-old son Billy. Her 11-year-old daughter Janet, however, seems to be the main target of the poltergeist. Madison Wolfe, who portrays the tormented Janet, completely loses herself in this potentially star-making performance.

Yes, I’m an eye roller, and horror sequels usually make my eye muscles hurt. The stereotypical cheesy dialogue, one-note characters and cheap “scares” make my eyes roll overtime – not this time. You actually feel like you’re in this Enfield house in the late 1970s, being terrorized with the Warrens and the Hodgson family. The script is tight; we actually care about the characters, and the tension and scares are genuine. Yes, I love horror movies, but I’m jaded. I rarely jump when you’re supposed to jump during a horror movie. The fact that I jumped more than once is testament to the fact that the tension and scares are genuine.

Also, the movie is long for a horror film – over two hours, but it’s a fast 133 minutes. Not once did I feel bored or have the urge to check the time. Sure, October is the usual month for horror, but we’re surrounded by horror all the time with terrorism threats, the Presidential election, the Kardashians. Why not be entertained while being afraid? When The Conjuring 3 releases in a few years, I’ll be the first in line. Do you think I sound overconfident in the possibility of a third? Well I’m not. Wilson and Farmiga are already signed up for a third, and there are dozens of actual Warren case files to work with. We could be taking our unborn children to see The Conjuring 25 in the distant future. Sure, that’s a stretch, but it might not be the worst thing in the world, either.

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The Conjuring 2
Warner Bros. Pictures
In theaters June 10

4.5 Stars

Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (must-see), 4 stars (exceptional), 3 stars (solid), 2 stars (average) and 1 star (unworthy).

Frederick Mintchell is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter: @Fmintchell
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