The Conjuring was undoubtedly one of the most surprising hits of the last few years, impressing both critics and cinema-goers with its mature treatment of the horror genre and bringing an old-school, classic charm to its scares. Now, the eagerly-anticipated sequel is almost upon us and the promotional tours are gearing up.
During an in-depth interview with Collider during its set visit in California, star Patrick Wilson detailed what it was like to not only return to his role as real-life paranormal investigator Ed Warren, but also touched upon why director James Wan, a filmmaker whom he has worked with on four paranormal pictures now, is such a master when it comes to the horror genre and why this instalment promises to be "a great movie".
"I did have to go back and look at my performance and re-look at it," Wilson said of slotting back into the Warren mindset. "I got a lot more Ed Warren, like DVDs and some CDs, and just a lot of tapes, so I could just kind of hear him talk again and get back into him, because I'd been in Calgary for four months, shooting Fargo [beforehand].
"For the first one, I read his book, the book on demonology. Tony Spiro, his son-in-law, who is very, very close to him, I would pick his brain about quirky little things that he'd do. The one thing that James has done, is much like in the first one, where you know, we weren't afraid. If there was a scene about someone being a non-believer, even when we had the creak in the floor and he was always a very pragmatic guy, so any of those qualities that were sort of character qualities, we even are pushing further in this one, confronting somebody."
Wilson moved on to discuss whether he'd be interested in doing other horror movies outside of Wan's vision, and it's pretty safe to conclude that the director is one of the main reasons he's so drawn to these spookier roles. "There's just nobody better," he stated. "I mean, the ideas that he comes up with — and there are a lot in here, in this one — that are new and different. I think, otherwise, he wouldn't have come back. He's not going to come back just for a paycheque. He just left a billion-dollar franchise [Saw], you know what I mean? He's here to make a great movie.
"We had such an amazing time on the first one and, you know, the care that they had with this script and the support from the studio and, of course, James's vision, you know, it all came together and that's nice when you do that and the movie works, not only creatively, but commercially. We dug in deep and so we're doing the same for the second, so we don't feel that sense of we're just coming back because it's a sequel, you know."
Wilson also revealed that the sequel will touch upon the Warren's dealing with the Amityville hauntings too, claiming that both Wan and the rest of the crew were undeterred by how many films had been made about the legendary 1977 novel and the supposedly true events on which it was based. "It was a big case, and a controversial case, and that's one of the things that James loves to do − he's not afraid of the of the controversy," Wilson told the publication. "It's not like: 'Well, we can't bring up Amityville because there have been 77 movies.' No. They went to Amityville, they have very strong feelings about Amityville, so it's OK. You go for it. We have all this — that's the thing, they have thousands of cases. So, yeah, we touch on that."
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, which also stars Vera Farmiga, is currently slated for a US release on 10 June 2016. It will reportedly reach UK cinemas a little later, on 17 June.
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