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James Wan
Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente
Writing Credits:
Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson

Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit.

Box Office:
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$40,406,314 on 3,343 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 134 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 9/13/2016

• “Crafting The Conjuring 2” Featurette
• “Living the Horror” Featurette
• “Creating Crooked” Featurette
• “Hollywood’s Haunted Stage” Featurette
• “The Sounds of Scary” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Preview


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Conjuring 2 [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 5, 2016)

Three years after The Conjuring became a moderate hit, 2016 presents a sequel: The Conjuring 2. This one picks up on some of the same characters from the original and follows their scary adventures.

Set in 1977, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) travel to England to deal with a suspected supernatural presence. Known as the “Enfield Poltergeist”, Ed and Lorraine go to the home of Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor), a single mother with four kids.

Peggy’s daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) experiences the most significant impact. Perhaps due to the spirits in the home, Janet displays a mix of odd behaviors so Ed and Lorraine attempt to deal with the supposed threat.

I admit that I can be a tough audience for horror. I just feel like so many modern scary movies do little more than regurgitate what we’ve seen done in the past – and done better, to boot.

That left me semi-cold toward the first Conjuring. I thought it was a well-crafted movie but it wore its influences on its sleeve and never felt fresh. Half Amityville Horror and half Poltergeist, it came with a serious “been here, done that” factor.

Since Conjuring 2 opens at the home featured in Amityville - and comes touted as a case known as “England’s Amityville” – comparisons seem even more apt here. The film wears those connections in an obvious manner.

That said, Conjuring 2 often feels more like something in the Exorcist vein than another Amityville. With Amityville, we didn’t see any particular possession/spirit in the same way depicted here - Conjuring 2 prefers a specific entity and its aftereffects.

If told properly – which didn’t happen with the 1979 or 2005 versions - Amityville could offer a good psychological horror. However, those movies presented events in too literal a manner, and the same occurs for Conjuring. Though it occasionally nods toward the skeptic point of view, it usually buys into the supernatural elements hook, line and sinker.

Those factors lead Conjuring 2 to lack originality and to keep it without many scares or exciting moments. We get the standard array of attempted jolts and “boo moments” without much creativity.

It doesn’t help that Conjuring 2 suffers from an awfully long running time. At 134 minutes, the movie goes a good half an hour longer than a typical horror flick – and 22 minutes past the original film’s span.

That may not sound like much of a difference, but Conjuring 2 really does seem overly elongated. Given that the first movie acted as an “origin story” for the Warrens, the sequel should be the tighter, more efficient affair, not one that goes well past the two-hour mark.

If the movie did more with all that cinematic real estate, I wouldn’t mind the length so much. However, the extra minutes just cause the story to drag and they fail to add depth or impact.

Entire scenes could be lost without any tangible effect. For instance, Conjuring 2 opens with a prologue that shows Ed and Lorraine at the Amityville house. This seems to exist for no reason other than to directly connect Conjuring 2 to Amityville Horror - the scene could be dropped and never missed, as it does nothing but prolong the start of the main narrative.

The movie’s lack of originality spreads to all aspects of the production. Even song selection feels stale, as we get the umpteenth use of “London Calling” when the Warrens head to England. Ignore the historical inaccuracy – the Clash song didn’t debut until two years after the film’s events – but “London Calling” became overused in films a good 10 years ago.

Maybe a worthwhile movie could emerge from this one’s roots, but as filmed, Conjuring 2 lacks much to make it memorable. While professional enough – and with a good cast – the result simply fails to engage the viewer.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

The Conjuring 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. As expected, the movie presented strong visuals.

At all times, sharpness seemed very good. Any instances of softness remained negligible, as the film appeared accurate and concise. Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

In terms of palette, Conjuring 2 went with a heavily teal orientation. Splashes of other hues appeared on occasion, but they remained in a distinct minority in this strong blue affair. Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted. Blacks were dark and dense, and low-light shots gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this impressive transfer.

As for the Dolby Atmos audio - which downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my system - it offered a fairly typical horror movie soundscape. This meant a lot of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”. Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story; the mix didn’t dazzle, but it worked fine.

Audio quality was always good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy. Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. Again, this wasn’t a heavily active track, but it made sense for the story.

Most of the set’s extras come from its five featurettes. Crafting The Conjuring 2 runs 10 minutes, nine seconds and includes notes from director James Wan, screenwriters David Leslie Johnson, Chad Hayes and Cary Hayes, producers Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, director of photography Don Burgess, production designer Julie Berghoff, character inspiration Janet Hodgson Winter, and actors Frances O’Connor, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Bob Adrian, and Vera Farmiga. “Crafting” looks at story/characters, cinematography and production design, Wan’s impact on the shoot, and related domains. A few nuggets emerge – with some good footage from the shoot – but most of the piece seems forgettable.

Next comes The Enfield Poltergeist: Living the Horror. In this 12-minute, 46-second piece, we get info from Janet Hodgson Winter, Chad and Cary Hayes, Cowan, Wan, Johnson, Farmiga, Safran, character inspirations Lorraine Warren and Margaret Hodgson Nadeem, photographer Graham Norris and actor Franka Potente. “Horror” looks at the real-life events that get depicted in the film. Though brief, we get a decent overview of the subject matter.

During the six-minute, 44-second Creating Crooked, we hear from Johnson, Safran, Cowan, Wan, Farmiga, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, Wilson, makeup effects artist Justin Raleigh, visual effects producer Ariel Shaw, and actor Benjamin Haigh. The reel looks at the design and execution of the “Crooked Man” character. This becomes another decent but unexceptional featurette.

Hollywood’s Haunted Stage lasts five minutes, eight seconds and features paranormal investigator Johnny Matook. We get a tour of a supposedly spirit-infested set. “Stage” buys into its theme whole hog and lacks substance.

Finally, we get The Sounds of Scary. During the seven-minute featurette, we find material from composer Joseph Bishara, scoring engineer/mixer Chris Spilfogel, and orchestrator Dana Niu. They provide some thoughts about the movie’s music. The featurette provides a smattering of thoughts but not much substance.

Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, 31 seconds. Two focus on supernatural areas, while the other two illustrate the impact on the family’s day-to-day life. On their own, the clips seem decent, but because the movie runs too long as it is, I’m glad they got the boot.

The disc opens with an ad for Lights Out. No trailer for Conjuring 2 appears here.

Derivative and slow-paced, The Conjuring 2 fails to make much of an impact. It comes with a decent source story but it seems too long and too predictable to become anything involving. The Blu-ray brings us excellent picture and satisfactory audio plus a smattering of bonus materials. Conjuring 2 ends up as a mediocre horror effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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