Same as the first film except with no direction or idea about what made the first enjoyable. Seems more interested in setting up characters for the forced ‘Conjuring Universe’ nobody asked for (I think I’ve heard more people asking them to stop but that’s beside the point).
The real horrors here, of course, are to be found in the Ramsey Campbell-esque drear, grime, and grim claustromania with which Wan depicts, or evokes, or no, wait, I've got it, CONjures the cramped caverns of 1970s lower-middle Londonia. The Warrens' Amerisquare churchiness, which rubbed me all wrong in the first film, is somehow endearing; the strength of their bond lends an unexpected weight to the hoo-ha. 3.5.
It sure is borderline laughable if you take the notion of "based on a true story" seriously, but as a work of fiction, THE CONJURING 2 is a sequel well worth watching. There are some good scares and the chemistry between Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson is evident. The movie's biggest flaw is perhaps its overlong running time for a horror flick, which causes the story to drag a bit. 4/5
I could've gone without The Crooked Man and the overly long run time but I still think it's a solid horror movie that is not only much better than the first one but also than the vast majority of its peers. Wan runs a tight ship and Farmiga's and Wilson's chemistry is a pleasure to watch along with great acting by everyone involved.
(Generous) 5 - Thrilling but disjointed. You have to admire the sheer balls on Wan; tacking on the "based on a true story" tag on a horror film whose villains consists of a pissed-off Englishman, Tim Burton's interpretation of an anime villain and Marylin Manson on an average Wednesday. The man can put a movie together, though.
"The Conjuring 2" suffers from a bloated runtime and a screenplay that tends to pile on trailer-ready jump scares in lieu of actually raising the stakes for the characters. Nonetheless, I found great pleasure in the genuine warmth that Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga bring to their roles, and the roving camerawork from James Wan and his ace DP Don Burgess ("Forrest Gump," "Spider-Man") is nothing short of virtuosic.