conjuring 2Warner Bros. Pictures

“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. The crooked man stepped forth, and rang the crooked bell. And thus his crooked soul spiraled into a crooked Hell. Murdered his crooked family, and laughed a crooked laugh…”

So, here we are, three years removed from James Wan’s fantastic period horror flick The Conjuring, with a direct sequel that finds the paranormal dynamic duo of Ed and Lorraine Warren flying off to jolly ol’ England to investigate a case of a violent haunting of a 14-year-old girl by what can only be described as a creepy old man ghost. Well, there’s more to it than just that. Which is to say, possible spoilers ahead, mates.

It all starts with a bit of a prologue, with the Warrens investigating the infamous Amityville house shortly after the events depicted in the movie (whichever one you want to go with, it doesn’t matter; just not the sequels). There, while astral-projecting, Mrs. Warren encounters a bunch of creepy ghost children and a Marilyn Manson-looking demonic entity that’s really into nun cosplay, plus a few other things that freaks her out quite a bit. About a year later, across the pond in London, a family begins to experience paranormal wackiness after the 14-year-old messes around with a homemade Ouija…er, I mean “spirit board” (in case anyone from the Hasbro corporation is reading this). It starts off whimsically enough–sleepwalking, toys, radios and the television operating by themselves, remote controls teleporting to a worn-out chair in the corner. You know, your typical Saturday afternoon at the Uncle NecRo homestead. Soon, though, it’s clear that an entity named “Bill” is having some malicious fun with them, and using the 14-year-old as his meat puppet in the process. And thus, the Warrens are called in to investigate if it’s a genuine paranormal event, or if it was a hoax. And then the shock rock nun shows up again. Wackiness ensues. Also, a lot of rain, for some reason.

Overall, I would have to say that, if you put aside the whole “based on a real story” and the fact that the veracity of the real Warrens’ is less than credible at best, The Conjuring 2 is another fairly decent ghost story that hits on most of the standard tropes, with a good cast and some decent atmospherics to add to the story. Again, I approached The Conjuring 2 as a fictional movie in and of itself, and I enjoyed it for what that was. Worth a rental.