While sequels - especially those in the horror genre - often fall victim to the law of diminishing returns, The Conjuring 2 appears to have bucked that trend, nearly matching its predecessor's opening weekend haul and garnering similar acclaim from both critics and audiences.
With this goodwill at its back, fans are naturally beginning to wonder just how long it'll be before The Conjuring 3 arrives to further scare the hell out of delighted moviegoers. Well, it turns out that fans aren't the only ones thinking about this possibility, as series director James Wan already has some ideas on the matter.
During an interview with IGN that, Wan had the following to say about a potential third Conjuring film:
"[The Warrens] do have a lot of stories so I think, organically, if we're lucky enough to tell future chapters, there's a lot of stuff we could be pulling from. I do have something specific but I'm not going to say it. But I will say this - I do think Conjuring 1 and 2 are both set in the 70s, I think Conjuring 3 has got to be set in the 80s."
Whether one believes that the instances of supernatural phenomena described by Ed and Lorraine Warren - played in The Conjuring films by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively - over their long careers as paranormal investigators really happened as recounted or not, there's no doubt that the couple's case files have served as terrific inspiration for the franchise so far, so it makes sense to tap that creative well yet again. The shift to an '80s setting is also likely a good move, as the decade possesses a distinctive mood and societal atmosphere quite unlike any other time period in recent history - presenting Wan and company with an opportunity to once again go all out in recreating a different era of the past.
Of course, moving the series to the '80s effectively rules out an expansion of the famous Amityville Horror haunting, which is briefly touched on during The Conjuring 2. While that fact might disappoint some, the Amityville incident has arguably been adapted to death at this point anyway, so avoiding doing it up in full might be for the best. That said, The Warrens loom large enough in the paranormal world that the majority of their most famous cases have already been adapted in some form.
In 1986, the Warrens investigated a purported demonic infestation in the house of the Snedeker family, but that story has already been adapted - albeit loosely - into the 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut. The Smurl case - a supernatural incident that also took place in 1986 - was turned into a book and later the 1991 TV movie The Haunted starring Sally Kirkland and Jeffrey DeMunn.
While there's certainly nothing stopping Wan from creating a Warren-approved redo of either of those instances, one wonders whether he is aware of a more obscure Warren case that the general public might not be as familiar with as say Amityville or the Enfield Poltergeist. Whichever idea he might have in mind though, it's safe to say that Wan has more than earned the benefit of the doubt from horror fans going forward.
The Conjuring 2 is currently in theaters.