The Conjuring 2 ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
If we are to believe the current spate of horror movies, there are many, many evil spirits (or demons) waiting to do bad things (or horrifying mischief) to ordinary people. In the movie The Conjuring (2013), based on a “true” story, a working class couple with a houseful of daughters buys a quaint old farmhouse in rural Rhode Island, not knowing that it’s the residence of a malevolent spirit from long ago who tries to make the mother kill her daughters. The family turns to Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. Lorraine is a psychic and her husband, Ed, is a sort of psychic investigator who assists people in ridding their homes of these spirits. Ed and Lorraine Warren are real-life people (not a handsome pair like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson who play them onscreen) who travel around from place to place working on cases of various “hauntings.”
In the new movie The Conjuring 2, Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to England, to the home of a beleaguered, divorced mother with four children in a dreary working-class neighborhood in northern London. The family’s name is Hodgson. Janet Hodgson is eleven years old. She’s been levitating, her bed shakes violently when she’s asleep and she hears and sees things (people) that apparently aren’t there. Finally, the spirit of an old man named Bill Wilkins who died in the house forty years earlier begins speaking through Janet Hodgson. (Or is he?) The house is his, he says, and he wants the current occupants to get out. After much investigating, it appears that eleven-year-old Janet is just faking the whole thing to get attention. Wait a minute! How can she have faked all the psychic occurrences that have been documented? It seems there are always those skeptics willing to find a “logical” explanation for any “proof” of ghosts or an afterlife.
We learn finally that the spirit of Bill Wilkins is just a “pawn” for a really malevolent spirit named Valak, who manifests itself in the form of a horrifying nun. Janet Hodgson is being forced to appear to be faking the whole thing; if she doesn’t, the demon will kill her family. After many twists and turns, Ed and Lorraine learn the truth and then know how to counter the demon.
The Conjuring 2 is formulaic, as these ghost stories usually are, but if you like well-made horror films (not slasher films) with a real plot, characters (not jiggling teenagers) and dialogue, this one is well worth your time. We are always left with the disquieting suggestion at the end that, although the living people may have won this round, the demons are only temporarily discommoded and will be back. As long as The Conjuring 2 makes money, there is bound to be The Conjuring 3.
Copyright © 2016 by Allen Kopp