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Review: The Conjuring 2

Full disclosure up front:  I did not like The Conjuring. One could even say that I hated it. I found it to be a generic, surprisingly plotless haunted house movie that failed to set itself apart from the seemingly hundreds of similar Blumhouse projects that have come out recently. So, if you are one of that movie’s many fans, maybe take this review with a grain of salt and we can agree to disagree if it comes to that.

Or you can start a comment war. That’s good for post reach.

In The Conjuring 2, another nice family is tormented by evil spirits. At the center of it all is the younger daughter Janet who sleepwalks, channels creepy voices from The Other Side, and sees furniture and scary figures move in the night.  Once the spirits have done everything in their Haunting Nice Families For Dummies book, Lorraine and Ed Warren from the first film are recruited by the Catholic Church to investigate the matter and discover if it is a hoax or not.

The very standard setup is not helped by the execution which continues the first movie’s trend of being horribly tame. I’m not some kind of gorehound, but the fact of the matter is that this “horror” franchise has the same body count as Monster’s Inc. Aside from the unintentionally funny Amityville recap at the beginning, there is no blood either. Why was this rated R again?

I have a sneaking suspicion that these movies are secretly put together by a megachurch. Both this movie and its predecessor are bafflingly wholesome.  Like I said, there’s very little violence  and there’s actually no profanity either. The Warren’s faith in God gets them through just about every situation without a scratch. I certainly don’t mind faith angles in movies, but there is a reason why God is silent in most horror movies. If God is going to bail the characters out of every situation, then there is really no reason to be afraid for them. It is impossible to create suspense. You’ve failed as a horror movie.

Trim this thing down too. A 134 minute running time is absurdly self indulgent.

In summary, the only thing setting The Conjuring 2 apart from the far too many other haunted house movies is its squeaky clean Christian nature which certainly doesn’t help it be scary. It’s better than Annabelle though. I’ll give it that.

GRADE: C-

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