The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case (2016) Review

The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case (2016)

Directed by James Wan

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
This is the sequel to the 2013 film The Conjuring, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising their roles as paranormal investigators and authors Ed and Lorraine Warren. The film follows the Warrens as they travel to the United Kingdom to assist the Hodgson family, who are experiencing poltergeist activity at their Enfield council house in 1977.

My Opinion:

I thought The Conjuring (number 1) was really good as far as modern horror movies go. I gave it a very positive review (HERE). Thinking back on it now, I’d still say it was a really good modern horror but I probably rated it a little too highly. I think at the time that I was just SO happy to finally get a horror movie that didn’t totally suck since most of them do nowadays. But then The Babadook came along…. Now there’s a damn good modern horror! That one made me realize that it is indeed possible for post-1984 horror movies to actually not suck. The Conjuring (number 1) was a step in the right direction, however. Too bad The Conjuring (number 2) takes a step back.

First of all, I know nothing about the actual facts of the Enfield haunting case so I won’t be discussing how accurate this movie may or may not be. I do love a good haunting and/or possession movie (especially when “true”) so I did enjoy the overall story here. It’s very similar to the first film (storywise) so I think you’d probably be interested in at least checking this one out at home at some point if you really liked the first one.

However, this one fails in many ways that the first movie didn’t… This sequel falls back into the James Wan trap of showing us too much for too long, just like all the laughable shit in Insidious. Sorry, but a Marilyn Manson-looking nun just isn’t scary to me! Sorry for a slight spoiler there (there’s a nun in this who looks like Marilyn Manson and you see her a lot). No. Less is more, horror-movie-makers! Why do you keep doing this? Mystery is scary. The things we don’t see or only just glimpse are scary. That bit with the sheet in the wind in the first film was pretty scary and unexpected! I can’t say that I really found anything even a little unsettling in this one. This was one of those movies where I just steeled myself for the predictable jump scares. Because I’m a jumpy person! But jump scares are cheap & they’re temporary. I think I’d probably have been more creeped out if I had just read about the real case instead (I may look into it now).

This film also didn’t seem to try as hard to get the right look, which worked so well in the first movie. It felt like it was genuinely set in the Seventies before whereas the sequel felt more like, well, a movie made in 2016 with funny clothing. I don’t know if maybe the first movie was filmed in a different way that gave it the correct look? I know nothing about filmmaking – I just know that the first movie looked “right” to me. And it had a great atmosphere that this one doesn’t quite manage (again, this is mainly down to “seeing too much”).

Okay – I’m sounding way too negative! This film isn’t awful – it’s just disappointing after the first film. I just wanted more of the same again instead of it veering slightly into Insidious territory. But it’s certainly not as bad as Insidious or that pathetic Conjuring spin-off Annabelle. It does start out promising with your standard haunted house movie stuff that is predictable but that I like (scary noises, creepy toys, etc) and I have no complaints as far as the acting goes – everyone did a solid job, including the young actress (Madison Wolfe). Unfortunately, the actors were let down by some very schmaltzy moments and a final half that loses its way just like so many other modern horror films seem to. The Conjuring 2 isn’t a bad horror movie – it’s just yet another fairly forgettable one. Which is a shame as I didn’t feel that way about the first film. 

My Rating: 6/10

24 thoughts on “The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case (2016) Review

  1. You can find interviews with the real life little girls on YouTube. There’s one by the BBC in the 70s that’s more funny than scary, they do the scary voices and it’s kind of silly. Great review champ!

  2. Great review! I will be checking this out, but likely only when it gets a DVD release, not worth tripping out to the cinema for. I really enjoyed The Conjuring, but found it was bland when rewatched, so that sucked. First time though, great, even though the third act was a mess. But not worth it again.

    • Oh, this is definitely one you can wait to watch at home. That’s disappointing to hear about a rewatch of The Conjuring. Yeah, I only watched it once but it does strike me as one that doesn’t need to be watched again once you know all the scares. : )

  3. POTENTIAL SPOILER wasn’t the Enfield case debunked pretty early on? It’s worth looking into, it’s a really interesting story.

    I guess you were in the good old U S of A at the time, but you might enjoy this

    We al lost our shit over it. TBF I was 10 or 11 at the time, but the BBC phonelines were jammed with people calling in!

  4. I found the movie entertaining. The girl working the concessions told me that she thought it was better than the first movie but I think the first one was better myself. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. I probably shouldn’t have looked up this particular haunting before watching the movie. It was kind of funny watching this knowing that the Warrens actually only went there and checked it out for one day and left. In the history of the Warren’s, this is barely even a footnote. It is widely believed, by most experts in the field, to have been a hoax. The fact that the Warren’s, who actually showed up uninvited, didn’t bother with it for more than a day leads me to think they might have believed it a possible hoax too. But this has more items from reality in it that a great number of other “based on a true story” movies that I have seen. So I can call it a fictionalized account of something that happened and enjoy the movie on its own. Still, it really just made me want to go watch the first movie over again.

    • Yes, I think the first movie was quite a bit better. This wasn’t the worst movie ever, though. : ) I’m glad I knew nothing of the story beforehand. Since I’m now hearing it’s widely believed to be a hoax, though, I probably won’t check out much about the real story. That’s a shame – I love a good “haunting” story. : )

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