Back in 2013, James Wan's The Conjuring was regarded as a horror film that could redefine the genre and thankfully didn't play into the tropes of found-footage or excessive gore like so many scary flicks released these days. It received hugely positive reviews from critics and even went on to become one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all time. Needless to say, a sequel was inevitable but it has big shoes to fill.
Surprisingly, stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were almost certain that a follow-up film would be made, that's if they "felt like they got it right", the first time round, according to Wilson. "Structurally, I felt like this was a different beast. You're not following the same people," he recently explained in an interview with Collider. "Within the genre of horror, whenever there have been franchises, it's all been from the villains' point of view, like with Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street and Saw.
"There hasn't been a franchise from the good side. That's brings an inherent, 'Oh, that's interesting.' We can dig into their relationship and spend half the movie on that, and then spend the other half on the family. I figured we'd come back for another one but we didn't know if James would come back. When he did, we were so thrilled."
Farmiga added that while the "slightly bigger paycheck" was an "alluring" aspect of a sequel, what she enjoyed most about the potential of a growing franchise was the opportunity to explore ongoing themes in the character's development. "I started off in television and continue to dabble in television, and I love deeper and deeper exploration of a characterisation," she told the publication.
"In this day and age, that's why television has become so popular. In this age of disconnection, we want to connect, in terms of storytelling, and root for them. So, yeah, I was hoping to do a sequel because I absolutely adore this character. I just want to surround myself with fun-loving, kind people, and that's what this project is. I'd gladly come back, again and again."
Wilson shares Farmiga's sentiment too, admitting that he's "reached a point in [his] career where it's really great to work with somebody that you think the world of, as a person, and then as an actor". But he's also quick to state that the main attraction for playing real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren was because they simply "love playing" them.
"The bottom line is that we're delighted by these characters," Farmiga reiterated. "We didn't get the opportunity to meet Ed, but we see their chemistry through Lorraine and the way she speaks about him. It's really beautiful and really intense and ordained.
"Their partnership was really holy, in that sense. She's such a cheerful creature. There are cheerful people, and then there's Lorraine Warren. She's so joyful, and it's bemusing. That affects our performances. We knew they had an incredible love and partnership. So, we had no choice but to try to recreate that."
Don't get them wrong though, it wasn't all sweetness and light and fun on games on set. "I still have a swollen lymph node from the amount of screaming I did," Farmiga laughed. "It was the contortion of vocal chords and the stress on our vocal chords, take after take after take, from denouncing demons in that operatic way, for 50 takes in a row because there were so many technical elements."
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case is out in US cinemas from today and will reach big screens in the UK on 13 June.