Time to Conjure up a Sequel

Conjuring 2.jpg

 

The horror genre, a movie category that tries to be good, but often ends up a joke during most movies. Occasionally though, we get a film that provides a good thrilling scare and is actually worth the admission price. For me, The Conjuring was one of those movies able to provide the chills I was looking for with a story to match. When I heard a sequel was coming, I feared that its good name would be diluted by the Hollywood haste to make money (remember Annabelle?). Hi Robbie K here, and today I review the Conjuring 2 and share my thoughts on the latest film. Let’s get started.

 

THE GOOD

  • Story
  • Integrated scares
  • Acting/Recurring Cast

 

Seldom do we get a horror movie with an actual story, instead focusing on how to make people jump. This is not the case with this film my friends. Director James Wan and his team have managed to craft a tale that is both entertaining and interesting to watch. Conjuring 2’s story takes place a few years after the first with the Warren’s continuing their investigations of the paranormal. Meanwhile, across the ocean, the Hodgson family begins to experience their own paranormal activity that will eventually warrant inspection by our detectives. Sounds simple I know, and in truth it is, but Wan’s delivery is fantastic.
He manages to build suspense in his tale, using a gradual series of scares to build the tension and slowly reveal the truth in the haunting. And to throw in the few twists they did, only added more depth to the story. But Wan goes one step further and decides to bring some character development into mix, helping to add depth to all involved to help us connect with the film. The Warren’s story was great to expand on, discussing the origins of our detectives, while also dropping in a little bit of love to sweeten the deal. And if that weren’t enough, he even manages to keep all of the scares pertinent to the story, integrating them into the plot rather than dropping a random scare moment that Hollywood is famous for. By having the scares have a purpose, they removed the corny aspects and added an edge that made the only that much better.

Of course, having a great cast to act out this story is the final piece of the puzzle. The repeat performance by Wilson and Farmiga was just as strong, the chemistry between them solid that I believed they were a couple. Newcomers to the series Madison Wolfe and Frances O’Connor played their roles as a terrified family to the letter, while also having another side to them that made you feel sorry for them. Finally Simon McBurney as Maurice Gross added some finesse to the cast, with a little comedic relief when the going got tough. But while fantastic alone, the chemistry between everyone was on point and only made things that much better.

THE BAD:

  • Still another horror movie
  • Dropped some plot points/unexplained
  • Predictable scare tactics

 

It was difficult to find weaknesses in this movie for me, but there are a few things that took away from the movie for me. First is that this is still another horror movie that fits in well with other films of the same genre. We’ve had some unique horror films in the past, but this one is just a good old fashioned haunted house story. Again this is a picky weakness, but the originality could have used a bit more tweaking in my opinion.

A bigger weakness is some of the plot points and presentation in the film. Wait a minute, I just said the plot was good didn’t I? Yes it is, but it’s not perfect and the Conjuring 2 has a few moments that I was still wanting closure on. I have to be sparing to not spoil anything, but one major detail lacking is why one particular thing has a vendetta against the family. A second limiting plot point is how two of the characters sort of drop out of the story without so much as a blink when they had played a key role in the film. But even with these limitations, the story itself was mostly complete and had a good closure, again I’m grasping at straws here. In addition there were some melodramatic moments that were a bit drawn out and somewhat cheesy to me. Oh well can’t be perfect right.

Finally the scare tactics are still predictable as ever and didn’t really get me with the exception of one time. Camera angles giving away something, music eerily going silent and the occasional getting out of bed to walk in a dark hallway give away the horror from a mile away. But while I’m used to it, other members of the audience were still howling in fear, so again this may be a moot point.

 

THE VERDICT:

Overall, The Conjuring 2 is a sequel quite worthy of being called just as good as the original. Wan and his group has shown that a horror movie can have a story and still be scary despite the beliefs of Hollywood. The engaging characters, the well timed suspense, and the integrated scares are surely the best selling points. With few weakness to point out, this reviewer can’t help but recommend this one for a theater visit for you horror fans out there.

 

My scores for this movie are:

Horror: 9.0

Movie Overall: 8.0-8.5

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2 Responses to “Time to Conjure up a Sequel”

  1. fullfaze Says:

    Great review. I really like your writing style. I would be glad if you visited my blog and suggested what I should change and tell me what you didn’t like because you seem experienced
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    • robbiesmoviereviews Says:

      So I just checked out your movie review (I apologize for the late response). Things I like about your site is it is very colorful, you have a great grasp of pulling trailers, posters, and clips to catch the eye which is very important. In terms of your openings, you have a nice organization introducing the movie, the run time, and what the movie is based on. That organization carries on through your structure and you systematically go through the movie in very good detail.

      Some areas of improvement are the following: 1) Spelling/grammar. Your spelling needs some work and perhaps a double check would help you catch a few of these errors and correct them for print (looser when you mean loser and things like that). Grammar distractions, no matter, how small will distract people from your writing (which is something I still work on as well). A second thing I noticed that may take away from the writing is what the goal of the blog is. You seem to want to put a rating on things, and you bring up great key points that are important for a movie, but yet you analyze the symbolism behind everything. This deep interpretation is great, a fine example of higher thinking, but its place is not in a movie review unless it is a major strength of the movie. Remember the point of the review is to look at the aspects of a movie, weigh if you thought they were good or bad, and then place an objective score. My goal in my reviews is always to pick highlights and relevant topics (what I often gather from the trailers) and use those to help guide audience members in their movie choices. 3) You go through plots in every detail. I love having discussions like this, but there is a major problem with spoilers in this approach. Many people will not read a review for fear of spoiling, so if you are going into this depth you need to say spoilers ahead. I think that will help you in the long run. If you are looking to discuss meaning behind each of them, I strongly encourage to do a quicker review to put the score and then an analysis of the plot to help differentiate. These are a few tips at the moment I can give you. Keep up the great work though.


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