US Release Date: 6/10/16
When The Conjuring, in 2013, haunted movie theatres and scared up more than £300 million at the worldwide box office, it didn’t take a genius to figure on a sequel.
The closing moments of the original, directed by James Wan, dropped a massive hint that real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), who had just wrapped up their investigation of a haunted farmhouse, would next be looking into the infamous The Amityville Horror.
That’s why many fans speculated that the famous house, located on New York’s Long Island, would be the sequel’s heartbeat.
Well, that speculation has partially come to fruition. Early in The Conjuring 2, the Warrens, once again played by Wilson and Farmiga, conduct a séance at the house, but Wan, back in the director’s chair, later slants the film towards another incident, also investigated by the Warrens, that occurred across the pond in the north London suburb of Enfield.
From 1977 to 1979, the home of single mother Peggy Hodgson and her four children, Margaret, Janet, Johnny and Billy was allegedly terrorised by poltergeist activity. According to sworn testimony from those involved, the haunting centred around mysterious knocking, the sudden and inexplicable movement of furniture – something which was allegedly witnessed by a police officer – toys which suddenly appeared and bounced off walls; and an entity, which spoke through one of the daughters. Also, Janet was hurled from her bed by unseen forces, and barking dogs could be heard in rooms where no dogs were present.
“Everything Ed and Lorraine have been through since we met them in the first film has been leading up to Enfield,” Wan states. “Out of the repertoire of cases they investigated over their lifetime, Enfield is one of the most compelling…and frightening. It’s also one of the most interesting in that in many ways it is a reflection of the Amityville haunting, so in the film we touch on that as well.”
Chad Hayes, the screenplay’s co-scribe, says The Conjuring 2 boils down to a story about a family which is falling apart.
“The father’s gone, the mother’s doing everything to make ends meet, and then this happens. Even after all of our research, it’s just…unimaginable…but it’s true.”
Frances O’ Connor, who plays the overwhelmed Peggy, says life is pretty tough for the mother – even before the onset of supernatural events.
“She’s got no money and her husband’s not paying any support, so there’s a lot of strain within the house. Pretty quickly some small, paranormal things happen and Peggy is so stressed she doesn’t even see that it’s there.”
Meanwhile, Madison Wolfe – who portrays Janet Hodgson – especially enjoyed filming a scene where Janet and her sister Margaret (Lauren Esposito) both levitate off the bed.
“It was definitely the first time I had done anything like that. They put a harness on under your clothes and put you up on wires, and they had it rigged to where we could cross each other in the room. That was really cool, too.”
For Wan, though, it’s all about tapping into people’s fear of the unknown.
“My job is to tie into the collective subconscious and into our greatest fears, in this case it’s the unexplainable—demons, possession, haunting. These are things that really happened, that really happen, and that makes them that much more terrifying. For me, as a filmmaker, it’s a really creative genre. You can kind of do anything…so long as it scares the hell out of the audience!”
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: James Wan
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’ Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Lauren Esposito, Benjamin Haigh and Patrick Mcauley
Screenwriters: Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes, James Wan and David Leslie Johnson
Producers: Peter Safran, Rob Cowan
Executive Producers: Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter
Image Info: VERA FARMIGA as Lorraine Warren in New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller “THE CONJURING 2,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Copyright: © 2016 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to The Conjuring 2 © 2016 New Line Cinema. All Rights Reserved