The follow up sequel the popular 2013 horror movie doesn’t do a lot to innovate on its original tropes, with predictable jump scares littered throughout, but it does contain some moving moments that set it apart from its contemporaries.
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are tasked with investigating a paranormal occurrence in North London that is terrorizing the Hogsdon family. The film centers on youngest daughter Janet (played by Madison Wolfe) who is the victim of a malicious possession, the ghost of Bill Wilkens who died in their living room 70 years prior.
This is where we can first take issue with some of the direction in the movie, the accent portrayed by Bill is almost laughable to a British viewer, it may not be much of a problem to an American audience but we found his speech almost comical at times and it really took away from the horror of the movie. It was a refreshing and welcome change to see the moviemakers set the film in London, but it was tainted by a lackluster execution.
Speaking of the setting, we felt that the filmmaker’s dragged out the movie’s prologue a little too much and didn’t actually have the Warrens arrive at the Hogsdon house in London until half way through the movie, the actual beginning of the movie was quite ominous and intense, with some masterful long shots and stellar cinematography setting the tone and pacing for the movie, but their decision to completely drag this out meant that any tension that was built up was lost and ultimately wasted. The movie was just too long and could’ve done with being considerably shortened.
This pacing might not have been such a bad thing if the actual horror in the movie was as terrifying as the trailer would have you believe. However sadly it wasn’t the case. There’s really nothing new here, nothing that we haven’t seen before – with each jump scare being as predictable as the last. We felt they just played everything safe and were too lazy to innovate or doing anything new with the horror and we’re left with what is essentially the first movie in a different setting.
There were some highlights to the film however. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga put in a great performance and the chemistry between their characters really shined on screen. Madison Wolfe also put in an outstanding performance despite her young age. We were also impressed with the director’s approach to portray a more human element to the characters, giving us insight into how it would feel to be in their position. There was a poignant scene between Vera and Madison that really displayed the young girl’s fear and loneliness due to horrifying experiences beyond her control, it was genuinely moving – something we rarely see in the horror genre.
Director: James Wan
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe.
Run Time: 134 Minutes