We don’t usually expect horror films to become critical darlings, let alone horror sequels, but “The Conjuring 2” has earned impressive reviews with an impressive 75% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. Emmy and Oscar-nominee Vera Farmiga and Emmy and Tony-nominee Patrick Wilson return to play real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In this sequel to the 2013 smash hit, the pair travel to England to help a single mother (Golden Globe-nominee Frances O’Connor) whose home is possessed.
Writer-director James Wan has had plenty of practice honing his horror craft, having helmed the first “Saw” movie and the first two installments of the “Insidious” franchise. Critics have hailed his work on “The Conjuring 2.” Below, four of the rave reviews that make this a must-see this weekend.
Justin Chang (Variety): “Call it Ken Loach’s ‘Poltergeist,’ or perhaps ‘The Exorcist’ as imagined by a young Mike Leigh. The actual director is James Wan, who has followed up his superb ‘The Conjuring’ (2013) with another virtuosic exercise in mobile camerawork and moldering production design, tethered to a story that handles its characters and their working-class milieu with an unexpectedly grounded, sensitive touch.”
Edward Douglas (New York Daily News): “Wan’s secret weapons are clearly Wilson and Farmiga, both such good actors they’re able to sell the audience on everything the Warrens experience. The duo also does a great job selling the romantic bond between the Warrens, which helps you fall in love with them as much as you end up falling for the entire Hodgson family.”
Drew McWeeny (Hitfix): “With a rich supporting cast, a smart script, and an ensemble that is put through their paces in some intense physical scenes, ‘The Conjuring 2’ is that rare horror sequel that stands toe to toe with the original, possibly even improving on it.”
Sheri Linden (Hollywood Reporter): “Wan’s expert deployment of genre jolts is no less in evidence this time around, but as he takes his time — perhaps even a bit too much of it — interweaving the Warrens’ story with that of the Hodgsons, in the London borough of Enfield, he crafts a deep dive into dread. The film builds to a symphonic climax of heaven-and-hell emotion.”