In the same way some things hit your funny bone just right, such is the case for horror (and, I guess, the "horror bone"), too. In The Conjuring 2, the sensation was very "meh."
I love some of the work James Wan has done, including the Insidious installments and the first Conjuring. And The Conjuring 2 isn't bad, per se, it's just pretty flat.
I enjoyed the 1977 set-up, replete with groovy tunes and threads, but the boogiemen didn't do anything for me. One sees everything coming from so far away that it fails to scare, and I slept like a baby when I finally found my bed.
The same cannot be said of Insidious, which kept me jumpy and jittery for 3-4 nights afterward, being—as I was—the only person overnighting at Albright Training Center on the lip of Grand Canyon beginning four hours after I saw it. It was a long, spooky week, with curtains billowing, floors and stairs squeaking, critters scurrying, and shadows darting everywhere. Did I mention there was no electricity, no WiFi, no cell service, no A/C, no nothing? Just me and those apparitions in the corners. I may as well have been Jack Torrance.
Anyhoo, The Conjuring 2 is as good as many horror films these days, and better than most, but I'll take The Babadook, Insidious, or The Witch any old day.
More promising than any one film, however, Wan is leading us into a new era, one that is actually predicated on horror and fear, as opposed to what one might call "startle scares," and that's a welcomed pivot after thirty years of Voorhees and Myers cheaply slashing and burning their way through your nerves.
"Surprising" me is one thing. Actually "terrifying" me is something altogether different.
For ten bucks plus food, I expect to look under the bed and over my shoulder for a good, solid week.