The Conjuring 2 is the sequel to… ooh, er.. what’s it called.. erm.. oh yes, The Conjuring.
That was the film about paranormal investigators Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga), briefly featuring Annabelle, the doll that can trash a house whilst being as inanimate as a carbon rod.
Film no.2 begins in Amityville, 1976 where evil is afoot, but which soon moves to Enfield, London, where punk music is in full flow, and while it’s not quite yet the ’80s when I spent most of my time in school, part of me would like to return to those days, even though it also means being in the presence of certain dickheads in that establishment (some attending the classes, and some teaching them!)
The 1970s are also more grimy than I remember, but the sequel begins with kids having made a ouija board, attempting to ask it questions… but as usual at the start of the film, seemingly nothing is happening, and no replies are forthcoming.
Meanwhile, the public in general are starting to doubt the supernatural talents of Mr & Mrs Warren, so they decide to jack it in… until the Enfield haunting, so it’s a case of getting the band back together! (well, you know what I mean)
Set in 1971, the first one felt like it tread over the old ground left by classic ’70s supernatural horror films – in a good way, but after setting out its stall, it was too full of spooky things appearing when the characters are least expecting them… and when we’re *most* expecting them – well, if you’ve seen as many horror films as I have. The sequel is similarly silly and, basically, it’s more of the same – very average, unless you get spooked easily by tiny scares.
On the plus side, it’s all about the sound, so you really need to see this with DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 sound creeping round the room – noise coming out of a standard telly just won’t have the same effect. On the downside, the film is about 25 minutes longer than the first film, and it really doesn’t need to be.
I thought the first Conjuring was reasonable, while The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case is certainly not as good as the Insidious films, the first two of which also star Patrick Wilson, and I have to ask that since a lot of issues revolve around a zoetrope within a wigwam, why don’t they just remove it?
PS. You’ll never watch The Sound of Music in the same way again! 😉
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition. The image is stunning and there are zero defects in the spooky goings-on…
The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and, as previously described, the audio cues move all around the speakers as intended when the bad stuff happens, so it’s a treat to listen to.
For the extras, there’s a few things of interest, but not a huge amount:
- Crafting The Conjuring 2 (10:09): A fairly standard ‘making of’, mixing clips and on-set footage with cast and crew interviews. It’s quite amusing as they show everyone getting scared on-camera as they film a scene, but when it wraps, they all fall about laughing at the absurdity of it all. In addition, there’s the real Peggy Hodgson, whose family suffered from the haunting… presuming you believe in all that palaver 😉
- The Enfield Poltergeist: Living the Horror (12:46): Ms Hodgson is back, along with other family members, discussing the haunting, itself.
- Creating Crooked (6:44): There was a crooked man… and so on. It’s about him.
- The Conjuring 2: Hollywood’s Haunted Stage (5:08): A brief featurette with paranormal investigator-turned-security guard Johnny Matook, checking out the set. Are there ghosts? Or has he just eaten too much cheese before going to bed?!
- The Sounds of Scary (7:00): Putting the score together with composer Joseph Bishara.
- Deleted Scenes (6:31): Four scenes, here, but nothing that needs to go back into the movie.
- Audio descriptive track: Does what it says on the tin.
The chapters menu tells me that there are 13 of them. Initially, given the tone of the film, I couldn’t help but think that was deliberate… but technically, there’s 14, the last one being for the closing credits.
As for the main menu, it’s just haunting music set to a static image. Subtitles come in English, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish.
Running time: 134 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
Released: October 17th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Arri Alexa, Leica Summilux-C)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: James Wan
Producers: Rob Cowan, Peter Safran and James Wan
Screenplay: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan and David Johnson
Music: Joseph Bishara
Ed Warren: Patrick Wilson
Lorraine Warren: Vera Farmiga
Janet Hodgson: Madison Wolfe
Peggy Hodgson: Frances O’Connor
Margaret Hodgson: Lauren Esposito
Billy Hodgson: Benjamin Haigh
Johnny Hodgson: Patrick McAuley
Maurice Grosse: Simon McBurney
Peggy Nottingham: Maria Doyle Kennedy
Vic Nottingham: Simon Delaney
Anita Gregory: Franka Potente
Bill Wilkins: Bob Adrian
Demon Voice: Robin Atkin Downes
Demon Nun: Bonnie Aarons
Crooked Man: Javier Botet
Father Gordon: Steve Coulter
Harry Whitmark: Abhi Sinha
Graham Morris: Chris Royds
Judy Warren: Sterling Jerins
Kent Allen: Daniel Wolfe
Constable Heeps: Annie Young
Constable Peterson: Elliot Joseph
Talk Show Host: Debora Weston
Skeptic Kaplan: Cory English
Demon: Joseph Bishara
Camilla: Emily Tasker
Mrs. More: Kate Cook
Lollipop Woman: Carol Been
Drew Thomas: Shannon Kook
Audience Members: Holly Hayes and Lance C Fuller
Louise Defeo: Jennifer Collins
Peter: Thomas Harrison
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.