Like a lot of others, I’m not a huge fan of most franchise sequels. I find most are lame and are a gigantic let down.
With a few exceptions, like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings series. And, I have to admit back in the Eighties when the next Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, or Friday the 13th came out, I was all over it. Whether they were good or bad, or basically the same (which really they were), I loved watching them. (Yep. I’m owning it.)
If the Poo Fits
But, in general, Number Twos of anything are usually just that: shit. (Pardon my French. Not that “shit” is a French word. Not sure how that expression came around to beg pardon for cuss words/potentially offensive language, but you know what I mean. I don’t normally write with expletives. But if the poo fits…)
Anyway, back to the point I’m trying to make. Brilliant sequels, especially in the horror genre are rare gems. It’s hard enough to make one good horror movie, much less follow it up with something equally good….or even better.
Fans of the Final Destination, Saw, and Paranormal Activity franchises might beg to differ. I’ll give you that the original movies were brilliant, and (most of) their sequels were fun, but…did any match the excellence of their originals?
No. Really. I’m asking. If not one of the aforementioned movies, maybe there’s another you know of that I’m not thinking of? If so, please don’t hesitate to speak up in the comments!
Anyway, what all this is leading up to is that I wasn’t psyched about The Conjuring 2. I thought The Conjuring (2013) was pretty good, but I watched it reluctantly. Mostly because I have mixed feelings about the Warrens.
Not that I’ve ever met either Ed or Lorraine personally. (Well, I can’t meet Ed now. He’s dead.)
But I’ve known people who’ve met them both, and in a couple of instances even knew them personally. In at least one instance, they still keep in touch with Lorraine.
I respect those people. They talk very highly of their interactions with the Warrens.
I’m sure Ed was nice and Lorraine is wonderful, but I’m less sure about how legit their ghost-busting was. There’s strong proof the Warrens were total frauds.
Amityville is a classic example. The Amityville horror was one of their “cases” that put them on the path to mega-paranormal fame.
However, the Amityville haunting is a proven hoax. But the Warrens have always maintained there was real activity in that house and they have the photos to prove it. (Seriously. One’s even posted on the Amityville section of their site.)
Hollywood loves the Warrens. The Conjuring was just the latest in a slew of royalty-generating films based on their stories, and it went on to become one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time, with spinoffs and a sequel planned (a key plot point in the movie is how only a fool would doubt the Warrens). (From “5 Successful People Who Everyone Forgets Are Exposed Frauds” by Sammy Trujillo.)
Of course Hollywood loves them! They do most of the work for them!
Speaking of Amityville…
The Warrens definitely take exception to being called frauds and Amityville a hoax. As Sammy Trujillo reported, the Conjuring 2 doesn’t hesitate to refer to all of this.
It actually works perfectly for the movie. Makes Patrick Wilson as ED and Vera Farmiga as Lorraine look even more sympathetic. Who would dare not believe such a loving and devoted couple? Not just devoted to each other, but to helping haunted families. How rude!
It’s brilliant really.
But it also blends nicely with the real-life haunting that’s the basis for the Conjuring 2: the Enfield haunting.
Enfield: England’s Amityville
The Enfield Poltergeist case griped England’s mainstream media in about the same way Amityville did in the United States. It’s also as controversial.
Did 14-year-old Margaret and her 11-year-old sister Janet fake the hauntings they claimed plagued their home from 1977-1979? Or was something really moving furniture, causing levitations, and making knocking noises?
We may never know definitively, but it made for one hell of a good movie.
Four and a Half Skulls
Out of five skulls, I give the Conjuring 2 four and a half.
Whether or not the Warrens were legit investigators, or even whether or not the Enfield haunting was real, doesn’t matter. Hollywood put it all together and created characters that are fun to watch and root for, a plot that’s frightening, and tension that’s unrelenting in its terror.
The Conjuring 2 is that rare gem of a sequel that may even be better than the original.