Over the past few decades, horror films have gone through something of a metamorphosis. Originally known for their gore, campy dialogue, and awful acting, for many years the genre wasn’t given its due and remained something of a joke amongst more discerning audiences and cinephiles.
Today a whiff of pretension still lingers around some opinions of the genre – particularly in more cerebral art house circles, but horror has made leaps and bounds in terms of its commercial viability and particularly as an entry-level route for up-and-coming filmmakers. Often made for a pittance, horror films have a reputation for being big money makers at the box office – and small budgeted, big money makers are music to the ears of any Hollywood studio.
Director James Wan learned all about this concept when he burst onto the scene in 2004 with Saw. Since then he’s made numerous films, but 2013’s The Conjuring has been his greatest success to date, bringing in $173 million (on a $20 million budget) and raking in the third highest grossing opening weekend ever for an R-rated horror film. With that sort of leverage behind him, it is not surprising that a sequel is on its way. Below you’ll find the first image from The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, courtesy of EW.
The sequel picks up once again with husband and wife paranormal investigative duo Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). This time the couple take their skills to London, where they study the case of the Hodgson family. Just as the original film was based on true events, so is The Conjuring 2. Commenting on the case of the Hodgson family, James Wan said:
"The haunting that afflicted the Hodgson family is probably one of the most documented paranormal cases in the world."
The fact that James Wan and both writers of the original The Conjuring, Carey and Chad Hayes are returning can make a big difference with the end quality of the project. It’s all too often the case with horror films that once the initial film succeeds, rushed sequels are pawned off on audiences without any involvement whatsoever from the creative minds involved with the original. Judging from the time between installments, it seems like The Conjuring 2 has come together with a more measured plan of action. Because the film is based on actual events, Wan had to spend time learning about the Hodgson family and visiting Enfield, where the events depicted in the film took place. This sort of attention to detail worked for The Conjuring, so it’s certainly arguable that it could work once again with the sequel.
No doubt, as the film’s release grows nearer, we’ll learn exactly how much time Wan spent learning about the story of the Hodgson family, but for now it’s enough to say that horror fans really do have something to look forward to this coming June.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist hits theatres June 10th, 2016.