By Thomas H Cullen (UK)

 

The logic to this assertion isn’t necessarily endowed by the product, and by its characters, and its story, but the deficit in itself is hardly an obstacle to making the assertion: The Conjuring 2 is the flaw, and the mediocrity of undermining a real investigation.

To put it another way: Wan’s 2016 sequel is an essence which speaks to the value of distractions, to the sinister and backfiring effect of making the film actually unlikable.

The Conjuring 2 has the ghosts. It has the jump scares. It has the momentum. It has the emotional beats. It has the family dynamic, which is a central part of horror lore. It has the eerie cinematography. It has the craziness. It has the story of good overcoming evil, and it has the underdog story. It has all these things, and yet the overall effect is to find the product aversive, and counter-productive.

In general, the experience of The Conjuring 2 is disheartening, as even though it tells a story about exposure, and about faith and discovery, it happens to produce the sense that an actual story of discovery is being abandoned. The actual story has nothing to do with an actual discovery, just more specifically the ideal of trying to discover something. TC2 obstructs this reality, which has a right to matter because art is just freedom. Reality isn’t freedom, art is freedom, and TC2’s nature overrides the normal privilege of art.

Janet Hodgson’s story is an epitome of a surface that’s deceptive, and it’s the epitome of this from the perspective that surface is objectivity. The basic fact of surface is value, leaving The Conjuring 2 as a force which antagonises the concept of discovery. Discovery is forced to become its own nightmare, the silver lining being the impossible divide between the nightmare and the source.

Is it any wonder that The Conjuring 2 feels deeply messed up? The film begs the need to question discovery, which in theory is a source of intellect, but the nature of The Conjuring 2 turns the assumption of intellect into a mystery of its own. The aftereffect can’t disprove the source, and the source can’t disprove the aftereffect, and the kicker to it all is that the mutual skepticism doesn’t amount to the reverse: singular resolution. The weakness of belief is the experience of the product, despite the product being about the validity of belief. The Conjuring 2 is undoubtedly a professional product, but it’s a professionalism that attacks discovery while at the same time promoting the idea of reference. The latter nature is intended, but the former nature isn’t intended – or at least presumably isn’t intended.

What’s even weirder, about The Conjuring 2, is its political symbolism. The symbolism is very apparent, being rampant throughout the entire film, but the meaning of the symbolism could be left-wing or right-wing. The aforementioned problem to do with distraction and hurting the ideal of discovery as effects of the product that are unintended would suggest that the film is right-wing symbolism. Left-wing reality is discovery, which means that any art which is about the theme of distraction should be left-wing. So either The Conjuring 2 is a lame example of left-wing art, or it’s an exception to the rule of being the link between right-wing art and the theme of distraction.

All in all, The Conjuring 2 is a very hollow professional product – a product which despite its obvious efficiency is sorely lacking in intellectual gravitas and emotional sympathy

Rating: 3/5

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