Dir: James Wan | ★★★☆☆
The world’s creepiest couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, return to investigate another paranormal case. This time, they’ve been asked by the Catholic church to visit somewhere more diabolical than their supernatural adventures have ever taken them: Enfield, north London. Described as “England’s Amityville”, they find a poverty-stricken single-parent family who are being terrorised by the spirit of Bill.
Two hours and change is pushing it for a mainstream horror movie: you don’t need an hour’s worth of bumps in the night to understand that a house is haunted. But director James Wan also spends time getting inside his characters’ heads, and this is where his film excels. Rather than using the plot as a vehicle to get to the next scare, he makes you care what happens to these people.
Things are let down by the use of sudden screeches, spooky children’s toys and CGI monsters, but those moments are in the minority. The main antagonist is genuinely unpleasant and, unlike its prequel, there are dissenting voices decrying the whole thing as a money-grabbing scam. The action-packed conclusion leaves you in no doubt, though, that demons are real and the Warrens are heroes. I just wish it had got there sooner.