The Conjuring 2 review: Is it worth the money to watch this “real” ghost story?

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It’s not easy for me to review The Conjuring 2 simply because of two facts: firstly, I’ve read about the real story that inspired this movie, and secondly, old-school horror films seem to have lost its mojo in scaring people with predictable jump scares.

If you’ve watched The Conjuring and Annabelle, you’ll be familiar the franchise: it dramatizes the accounts of husband-and-wife team Ed and Lorraine Warren, two of the most popular paranormal investigators in the world. While some might not agree with their stories, or believe that they had exaggerated their accounts drastically, it’s still a fact that most of their encounters or investigations were covered extensively in the media, in particular this latest film.

The Conjuring 2 is an adaption of one of the Warrens’ encounters in August 1977 that happened in England. Like any horror movie, the plot is simple: a house is haunted, the girl in the family is possessed and the protagonists exorcise the demon out.

Known by many as the Enfield Poltergeist, the family continued living in the house as it is a council house: i.e., it is like an HDB in England, so they can’t just sell or move as they want—and in this case, it was due to financial constraint.

There’s a bit of twist in the plot, but it’s a very simple one: very much unlike the one in The Faith of Anna Waters, whereby the twist just blows you away (at least for me).

With jump scares now losing a bit of traction (although I’ve to admit that they still scare the heck out of anyone), The Conjuring 2 combines both jump scares and prolonged tense moments that work. James Wan (the director) creates some moments that brings up your guard, and make you tense for so long that you’ll eventually get tired, only to be shocked at an unexpected scare.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t leave much of an impression compared to the successful The Conjuring, probably because it was then the first movie that is based on Ed and Lorraine Warren. But still, it’s worth a watch if you like to be scared without thinking much about the story.

My only complaint is how the premise of the movie is based too loosely on the real event. Firstly, in 1977, Ed and Lorraine Warren were only there for one day: most investigations were done by the secondary characters. In fact, if you go to their Wikipedia page, you’ll see that it’s not one of their notable cases.

Secondly, while I can understand the need to dramatize the film (it’s Hollywood after all!), having it so ridiculously portrayed just doesn’t cut it. The case was in a media frenzy back in 1977 due to many third parties, including a cop, witnessing paranormal events—so making it into a good vs evil with lots of lightning, action and even a demon stalking someone is just an overkill.

In other words, if you really want to enjoy the movie, I would suggest you not to read up on the real event that inspires this movie: just go in, be scared and then look out for The Conjuring 3.

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com