Friday, February 10, 2017

The Conjuring 2

Wait. What's this? A new review?

Easy, gentle reader, do not adjust your browser or intoxicant of choice. This is the real deal, an all new review and, if you took note of the site name, a slightly new direction for the site. We now encompass not only movies but games, books and whatever other media catches our eye. Now to cut short the detour and get on with the review.

Conjuring 2 is a continuation of the kinda new Conjuring cinematic universe, a la Marvel, DC, 1920s monster movies and Police Academy (one of those is a horrible travesty, and it's not Police Academy). In the first movie we encountered some cool ghosts, genuine creepy moments, clever use of cameras and a fairly engaging story. It was a stand out horror experience amongst what has become some fairly cliched fare of late. Following the 21-gun opening salvo came a wet fart labelled Annabelle. Booooo. Let that fucking thing go, Conjuring, let it go. The damned dolly even turns up in Conjuring 2 like the proverbial unflushable turd. So the latest installment? How does it work?

I'd say pretty well; not as well as the original, definitely better than that floater in the bowl. The beginning is unnecessary and the main "bad guy/gal" is a pointless addition like sugar on fairy floss (candy floss? sorry global readers, not sure of the varying names for spun sugar), but the meat of the story is well executed and tries hard not to fall into (too) well worn grooves. When the protagonist says "some funky shit is going down" we don't then have to wade through 10 to 15 minutes of everyone nodding in sympathy while preparing the strait-jacket. They see it too, or something equally crazy, and it puts all of the actors into a "we're all in this together" vibe. I liked it. There were several cool set pieces I really enjoyed which were mainly clever room based stuff involving two or three of the protagonists and some interesting setup they had to overcome or endure. They didn't all work, but there were more good than dull and I can't remember one that made me cringe in a bad way.

Plus all of these guys were passingly convincing and not too annoying. That's a tick in the box.

Downsides, it hasn't a patch on the creep factor of the original. Where the original sustained an ongoing undercurrent of gloom that unsettled for the duration of the movie, the sequel is pretty tame and relies more on shock and a few jumps. The chair was a cool device but other "creep" factors were too well trodden to be interesting. The ending didn't blow my skirt up either and didn't need a bad guy shoehorned in after we had already established a hierarchy or good guys and spirits that was working just fine.  I don't mind progression or twists, but this was neither unexpected, clever or necessary.


So, The Conjuring 2, my comeback movie review and the first horror movie I've watched in a while. Did it titillate my terror or fall flat with a squelch like a rotted out corpse? I'd say neither. It was average, slightly above perhaps, but more on the beige side of colourful when I had hopes for tinsel and sequins.

6/10 - Nor bad, not great, Conjuring 2 is a bit to long and could be significantly improved through the removal of the shitty antagonist and all related material

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