The Conjuring 2 ★★★½

The Conjuring 2 successfully avoids all of the pitfalls that plagued Insidious: Chapter 2, yet like most sequels, it struggles to attain the greatness of the original. In my opinion, The Conjuring should have been Wan's last haunted house film, as he nailed what he explored with Dead Silence and improved upon with Insidious. That being said, The Enfield Poltergeist is still a decent film, and an even better horror sequel.

The film follows with a similar format to the original, but also felt a lot like the Insidious films. While the original does an excellent job of developing the relationship between the parents and children, The Conjuring 2 unfortunately loses a bit of focus, as we are torn between several different relationships: Ed and Lorraine, The Hodgson Family, the media, as well as Maurice Grosse, another paranormal investigator.

Wan continues to effectively build suspense and tease us through clever camera movement and composition. There is a memorable scene involving a painting that made my skin crawl. Farmiga and Wilson continue to bring life and depth to the characters of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and in my opinion outshone all of the other actors in the film. While the tree, house, basement, and trinkets in the first film all had a sinister look to them, most of the suburban London setpieces in The Enfield Poltergeist give the impression of a more innocuous atmosphere.

While The Conjuring maintained its intensity up until the final few minutes of the film, I felt that The Enfield Poltergeist lost its steam much earlier, partly hampered by a large amount of special effects. I find that with these types of films, less is more, and compared to The Conjuring, Wan opted for much more in this film.

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