THE CONJURING 2
released 17 OCTOBER (BLU-RAY/DVD)/OUT NOW! (download) 2016 | 15 | BLU-RAY/DVD/DOWNLOAD
Director James Wan Cast Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor
The main strength of this sequel to James Wan’s horror hit about paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren is that it’s set in a rainy, grey ’70s Britain – albeit an alternate-universe one where semi-detached houses are unusually roomy and The Goodies airs in the afternoon... Just the fact that the usual poltergeist/ possession tropes play out in a milieu where people with Cockney accents say “Wanker!” is refreshing.
It revisits events in Enfield in 1977, which saw 11-year-old Janet Hodgson speaking in the voice of an old man called Bill. The UK’s best-documented such case, it’s perhaps a little too well-known – especially to anyone who saw Sky Living’s 2015 miniseries The Enfield Haunting.
To their credit, Wan and his co-writers freshen things up, adding elements like a painting of a demonic nun, and providing a suitably dramatic finale for a situation which in reality petered out. They also take steps to flesh out the Warrens’ relationship.
But if anything they layer on too much. A patience-testing 62 minutes pass before the Warrens even arrive in London. And while a pipecleaner-limbed entity from a Zoetrope – the Crooked Man – is shuddersome, it feels like it belongs in a different, more fantastical franchise.
Extras The DVD has just four deleted scenes (six minutes): nowt essential, though they do usefully explain why the Hodgson kids are never at school and help foreshadow a twist. The Blu-ray adds five more bonuses (42 minutes). Highlights: a featurette on the Crooked Man – astonishingly not CGI, but a very skinny bloke – and a piece on the real-life case; this interviews the grown-up Hodgson girls, and captures an on-set reunion with Lorraine Warren. Plus: a general Making Of, a bit on the score, and some cobblers about the sound stage being haunted. Ian Berriman
The Goodies ep seen on TV at one point is “Earthanasia”. James Wan saw the show as a kid in Australia, and is a big fan.
Every mealtime the food got worse.