THE CONJURING 2 (15) 134 mins. Stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe and Lauren Esposito

In 1976, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) visit the Amityville house where Ronald DeFeo Jr was convicted of killing six members of his family.

Then they go into self-imposed exile to devote more time to their teenage daughter, Judy (Sterling Jerins). However, the church compels the Warrens to return to active service to investigate claims from a terrified single mother, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), that her house in Enfield is in the grip of a dark force.

Ed and Lorraine travel to rain-swept England to interview Peggy and her four children. When youngest daughter Janet exhibits signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine battle with the lingering phantom of an old man (Bob Adrian) for the Hodgsons' souls.

However, the four screenwriters of The Conjuring 2 are content to use one family's terror as a foundation for the usual array of horror tropes: creaking floorboards, a child speaking in tongues, inverted crosses, and ghostly figures emerging from the darkness.

The Conjuring 2 feels overlong and lacks the tight emotional bond of the first film's besieged family.

Like its predecessor, The Conjuring 2 juxtaposes archive photographs and the Warrens' taped interviews over the end credits to convince us that the spooky shenanigans orchestrated on screen are anchored in unsettling reality.

Only the gullible would submit wholeheartedly to the film's gargantuan suspensions of belief.