Wan's expert deployment of genre jolts is no less in evidence this time around, but as he takes his time - perhaps even a bit too much of it - interweaving the Warrens' story with that of the Hodgsons... he crafts a deep dive into dread.
[Wan's] framing of the scares is artfully managed, and it is the accomplished Wolfe, rather than any monster, who takes true possession of the tale.
You always get the sense that the Hodgsons are being targeted by something that is truly out of their control, and that's the biggest scare of all.
There are only so many times a slamming door will get an audience to jump.
A supernatural winner bound to make some noise at the box office and worthy of loud applause.
Much longer, more elaborate, more dramatic, and more packed with chilling moments and hair-raising visuals than one could anticipate, even from Wan.
The horror sequel is a tough thing to pull off in general, and The Conjuring 2 is most certainly one of the better efforts... But, for better or worse, the first movie was just too good and The Conjuring 2 can't hold a candle to its predecessor.
Wan can't resist throwing in everything from a demonic nun to an evil kinetoscope to a shape-shifting dog. But when building suspense, more means less.
The Conjuring 2 proves that, with a sufficient investment of time and energy, sequels don't have to be unsatisfying cash-grabs.