After huge success at the box office in 2013 it was only a matter of time when we would see a sequel to The Conjuring about real life couple and paranormal experts The Warrens. Hold on to your hats, because The Conjuring 2 is ready to spook you silly, and it's based on one of the scariest hauntings in England's history.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are back for more scares as the infamous Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring 2. The Warrens who were known for helping in several paranormal cases were taken to task at the height of their popularity following the controversial Amityville haunting case. The couple's newfound fame nearly destroyed them and their family so they decided to lay low as Lorraine comes to grips with a dangerous premonition.
Meanwhile, in the London Borough of Enfield, a single mother Peggy, (Frances O'Connor) and her four kids are plagued by a mysterious poltergeist that wreaks havoc on their home and latches onto 10-year-old Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe). This spurs Ed and Lorraine to come out of their sabbatical and travel to Enfield where they hope to stop this new ghostly presence. Ed and Lorraine emphatically believe Peggy's story, when the youngest daughter starts to show signs of demonic possession. As the Warrens try to help the poor girl and the family, they themselves become the next target of the malicious spirits. It's a case that truly changed the Warren's forever.
Director James Wan has become the master of a good scare, some even comparing him to the great Alfred Hitchcock. In 2004, Mr. Wan’s breakthrough, “Saw,” made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, ushering in the torture-porn era and a franchise that has produced six sequels. In 2011, he and his longtime writing partner, Leigh Whannell, shifted gears, creating the subtly creepy “Insidious,” starting yet another franchise, the fourth installment of which is to be released next year. Wan also somehow found time to change gears ( no pun intended) into someone else’s series — “The Fast and the Furious” — directing the well-reviewed “Furious 7” (2015), now ranked sixth in history at the global box office.
The Malaysian-born Australian filmmaker says he was a bit hesitant at first when offered the opportunity to direct the sequel, but quickly decided to jump on board when he realized that there was a whole new story to tell about the Warrens. He was also happy when he discovered that stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were open to exploring new and terrifying aspects about the couple. The roles took more of an emotional and physical toll on the actors but because they had so much faith and trust in Wan they were more than happy to do pretty much anything he asked them to do.
During our recent interview in Los Angeles, Wan said that he was hesitant at first because the first movie was so successful and didn't want to disappoint the fans. "I had to make sure I wasn’t repeating myself and that was a big challenge.," he said. "There are expectations with sequels and people want them to be bigger and better than the prequel. For The Conjuring, I think people liked the characters more than the story. I thought if I could work anything around the same characters, people would still like it. I really hope people like it." Wan also expressed that he would never make a sequel unless there was something new to say. "I will never make any movie, if I feel that a similar story has been shown already. Be it sequels or stand-alone films, I need to know that I have a story that has not been told before. If it’s the same story then it wouldn’t have any impact what so ever."
As for Patrick and Vera, they were fascinated by how much the Warrens were affected by the Amityville haunting and then the Enfield case in London. It really took a toll on the couple, not to mention their daughter. Although the real Ed Warren passed away about 10 years ago, the actors did have Lorraine Warren to talk to and their daughter and son in law to find out anything new that they could that might influence the way they played them for Conjuring 2.
Newcomer Madison Wolfe who plays the tormented Janet Hodgson is absolutely fantastic in the role. She captures the fear and anguish one must feel if possessed by some unknown entity. Wan says all the credit goes to his casting director for finding her. Her performance is pretty much on par with that of young Linda Blair's when she wowed the world in 1973 with her unforgettable performance as the possessed young girl Regan, in The Exorcist.
The Conjuring 2 is scary, but face your fears! You'll be happy you did.
Check out my interviews below with director James Wan, stars Vera Farmiga. Patrick Wilson. Frances O'Connor and newcomer Madison Wolfe.
The Conjuring 2 hits theaters on June 10th.