It is, once again, time for another movie review presented by FatCats Gilbert located on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCats Gilbert is one of our best friends here at The Pulse, and with the widest array of things to do in one place in the area, FatCats Gilbert is the best place to spend the summer!
With three big movies coming out this week, let’s talk about the one I was lucky enough to see first, The Conjuring 2. If you have been reading my reviews for a while, you know that I’m not a big horror fan. I’m kind of a baby when it comes to horror, and I definitely try to avoid most horror movies when I can. I had a little bit of a stomach ache walking into this movie even though I loved the first movie, The Conjuring. I was pretty excited, but still a little bit nervous. I am a big fan of James Wan and his crafty filmmaking, and I’m a big fan of both of the stars, and I did love the first movie. It’s probably one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Even though I’m nervous that there’s a demon in the rocking chair in the corner of my living room, I’m gonna sit right in it and talk about The Conjuring 2!
The Conjuring 2 is directed by James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, and Simon McBurney. After the Warrens case in The Conjuring, they are out to take on one of the most documented cases in paranormal history, The Enfield Case. When the Warrens meet the Hodgson family, the mother, Peggy, is in a low place trying to stay afloat financially, but she is also facing an ungodly problem: her daughter appears to be possessed by a demon. Ed and Lorraine seem to be the only ones who will believe the family, and even their faith is tested, but with a family in need, they must decide whether it is worth it to stay and go against both proof and the popular belief.
Like I said, I love The Conjuring. It is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, which, by the way, is a list that you can probably expect sometime soon. James Wan, I thought, did such an incredible job with that movie bringing the family and the Warrens to life while constructing such a crafty and well-made film. That’s where I think I will start with this movie. James Wan does such an amazing job, once again, in this movie creating tension, and it blew me away in that aspect. I have yet to see a director in this time who creates tension and mental unease the way that Wan does. The composition of the shots, and the way he utilizes effects, makeup, and camera angles is so original and stylistically different from the typical horror build of tension through sound and effect driven scares that I do not care for. Wan’s direction and use of the camera is so creative, and though this movie does resort to the cheap scare a few times, they are typically built up through character moments and anxiety. He is the real star of this movie in the same way that directors like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher are. The way he constructs the movie is the real reason it works so well. This movie is also horrifying. As I said, Wan is so creative, and the look and design of the demons are amazing and terrifying. One of the reasons this movie is so unnerving is because I really care about these characters, and they are handled so magnificently. Ed and Lorraine Warren are real characters, and they are portrayed so brilliantly by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively. These are incredible actors, and Wan uses them so well to benefit the story and create amazing chemistry to make me feel for these characters and care for them. I’m genuinely scared about what is going to happen to them, and they feel like a real couple through parallelism and the way they interact with each other. I also thought that the family was so well portrayed by the actors and so well established. I really care about this family, and there are moments that both break my heart and make me cheer for them, and it is due to the acting from Frances O’Connor and Madison Wolfe. They are both so great, and I recognize that it must not at all be easy to act as though you are possessed, and Madison Wolfe does an amazing job in this movie, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the rest of her career.
I’ve talked about what I really liked, but unfortunately I have to talk about a few things that I did not like. I discussed how great James Wan is at building tension, and I mean that and will stand by that every step of the way, but there are times in this movie where the predictable jump scare or the predictable moment is used. I’m sure you have seen the predictable scare where it goes silent, then you know a jump scare is coming, then it comes with a loud and sudden noise. This movie didn’t have to use those, and because of the way that James Wan uses his talents, it’s definitely not even the most effective way to create a good scare. Finally, there are a few times in this movie where I feel like it gets away from itself. It takes a turn away from the narrative, and has a little bit of trouble getting back into it, and it took me out of the movie at times.
Overall, I really liked this movie. I would definitely suggest checking it out if you love horror or if you love craftsmanship in film, because James Wan does such an incredible job directing this movie and bringing his creative storytelling to life. It has some terrifying scares, and they are created so well. They will leave you a little squirmy thinking about them after the film. The cast is so amazing in this movie, and the way that the cast creates chemistry and likability sets, not only this movie aside, but the entire franchise aside from other horror franchises that bust movies out for the sake of pulling that seven to twelve dollars right out of your pocket. When I say franchise, I get really excited, especially if James Wan stays behind the camera, and I think he will if it continues to have great horror elements and a great story. There is so much more to tell, and I can’t wait to see what is left from all of those items in the Warrens’ house. Who knows how many cases could come from that room? All I know is that usually when you say “horror franchise,” I run away. I am so not interested. When I think of seeing more movies in The Conjuring franchise, bring it on. I want it, and I want these characters and this director back scaring the heck out of me. Wow. I never thought I would hear myself say that. I’m going to give The Conjuring 2 a 7.8/10.
Have you seen The Conjuring 2? If you have, what did you think? Let me know down in the comments! What is your favorite horror franchise, or if you aren’t a big horror franchise person, what is your favorite horror movie? Let me know, because we are trying to bring more horror content to the site, and we can’t wait to do it because doesn’t everyone love a good horror movie? I tried to get my mom to watch the trailer for The Conjuring 2 with me, and she wouldn’t even do that, so maybe horror isn’t for everybody, but it definitely has one of the most loyal fan bases. If you are part of that fan base, let me know! I’ll be checking out both Warcraft and Now You See Me 2 on Thursday which means reviews out on Friday, so be sure to stay tuned for that, and be sure to keep checking in for more movie content. As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!