The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The original “Conjuring” is one of those well-made horror movies that unexpectedly became a crowd pleaser, but some of the magic is missing in this bloated, overlong sequel. On paper, fictionalizing the infamous British Enfield poltergeist (allegedly one of the most well-documented cases of real-life paranormal activity) is a good move for the sequel: It has the weight of built-in media exposure, not to mention the strong directorial vision of James Wan and the gravitas of returning stars Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. But the drab setting, drained color palette and strained supporting performances erode the audience’s enjoyment, negating any fun to be had along the way. What’s left is a preposterous 133-minute running time, with an interminable, hopelessly muddled climax. Luckily, there are some pretty good scares along the way, while the likable duo of Farmiga and Wilson is always welcome, but it’s a missed opportunity.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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