The Conjuring 2

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The Conjuring 2
Conjuring 2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Chad Hayes
  • Carey W. Hayes
  • James Wan
Based on
characters created by
  • Chad Hayes
  • Carey W. Hayes
Starring
Music by Joseph Bishara
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by Kirk M. Morri
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 7, 2016 (2016-06-07) (TCL Chinese Theatre)
  • June 10, 2016 (2016-06-10) (United States)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[2]
Box office $320.3 million[3]

The Conjuring 2 is a 2016 American horror film directed by James Wan. The screenplay is by Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, Wan and David Leslie Johnson. It is the sequel to 2013's The Conjuring and the third film in The Conjuring film series. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as paranormal investigators and authors Ed and Lorraine Warren from the first film. The film follows the Warrens as they travel to England to assist the Hodgson family, who are experiencing poltergeist activity at their Enfield council house in 1977 which later became referred to as the Enfield Poltergeist.

The Conjuring 2 was released in North America on June 10, 2016. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $320 million worldwide.[3][4] A spin-off film, The Nun, is scheduled to be released in 2018 with Peter Safran and Wan producing.

Plot[edit]

In 1976, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren document the Amityville murders at the Amityville house, to determine if a demonic presence was truly responsible for Ronald DeFeo Jr. mass murdering his family on November 13, 1974 and the subsequent haunting incident involving the Lutz family. During a seance, Lorraine is drawn into a vision where she relives the murders. A demonic nun figure appears and lures her to the basement, where she witnesses Ed being impaled before breaking out of the vision.

One year later, in 1977, the Hodgson family begins to discover strange occurrences within their home in London. Janet, the second oldest of four children, is seen sleepwalking and conversing in her dreams with an entity in the form of an angry elderly man, who insists that the house is his. Eventually, all siblings of the house and their mother Peggy witness paranormal events occurring right before their eyes, forcing them to seek refuge with their neighbors. When the media attempts to interview the Hodgsons, Janet is possessed by the spirit of an elderly man, Bill Wilkins, who is revealed to have previously lived and died in the house. During the possession, Wilkins states that he enjoys tormenting the family and wants to claim back his home. As Janet begins to show more signs of demonic possession, the story eventually reaches the Warrens, who are requested to assist the local church in the investigation and prove whether or not it is a hoax. Lorraine, in fear of her vision of Ed's death becoming reality, warns him not to get too involved in the case, and reluctantly agrees to travel to London. She has yet another vision of the demonic nun in Ed's study wherein the demon says its name, which Lorraine scribbles in her Bible.

While staying at the Hodgson residence, Ed and Lorraine consult with other paranormal investigators, including Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory, on the legitimacy of the case. They also attempt to communicate with Wilkins' spirit, hoping to convince him to stop haunting the family. One night, after the Hodgsons witness Janet being possessed, Gregory presents video evidence of Janet purposely wrecking the kitchen as if for a prank, thereby discrediting the haunting. Based on this discovery, Ed and Lorraine have no choice but to leave the family on their own, but soon discover that the spirit of Wilkins is only a pawn being manipulated by the demonic nun, to haunt Janet and break her will. Lorraine then realizes that her abilities have been blocked by the demonic spirit that has been haunting her in her visions.

Ed and Lorraine quickly return to the Hodgson residence, only to find Janet being possessed once more and the rest of the Hodgsons locked outside the house. Ed ventures inside the house alone. A lightning strike hits a tree near the house, leaving a jagged stump resembling the object that impaled Ed in Lorraine's vision. Ed finds Janet standing near the window, ready to leap onto the stump and commit suicide. He manages to grab Janet in time, but finds himself holding onto a curtain that is being torn from its rings by his and Janet's weight. Lorraine remembers that she wrote the demon's name – Valak – in her Bible. She enters the house and confronts Valak, addressing it by name and successfully condemns it back to Hell. Janet is freed of her possession, and Lorraine pulls her and Ed to safety.

A text epilogue reveals that Peggy lived the rest of her life in that house and died in 2003, sitting in the same spot in which Wilkins had died 40 years earlier. Upon returning home, Ed adds an item to his and Lorraine's collection – "The Crooked Man" zoetrope toy owned by Peggy's youngest child – placing it near April's music box and the Annabelle doll.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In July 2013, prior to The Conjuring's release, Variety reported that New Line Cinema was already in the early stages of development of a sequel, following the positive test screenings and reviews of the first film.[5] The film deals with the case of the Enfield Poltergeist, which took place in the London Borough of Enfield from 1977 to 1979, and involved the alleged haunting of two sisters, aged 11 and 13, at their mother's council house.[6] The Conjuring 2 also touches on the Warrens' most famous and most documented case, The Amityville Horror.[7]

Pre-production[edit]

I've been working very heavily on the script, and the idea of continuing the saga of Ed and Lorraine Warren is actually very exciting. So the idea of going back to kind of nurture my baby that I created is part of the reason why I'm going back to do The Conjuring 2.

James Wan, explaining his reasons for returning to direct the sequel.[8]

In July 2013, it was reported that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson had signed on to reprise their roles from The Conjuring.[9] This was confirmed in February 2014.[10] On October 21, 2014, it was announced that James Wan would return to direct the sequel, and production would begin in the summer of 2015.[11] In early July 2015, lead actors Farmiga and Wilson visited Lorraine Warren at the New England Paranormal Research Center in Connecticut in preparation for their roles.[12] On July 28, 2015, Wan officially began pre-production for the film.[13] In August 2015, the film was granted $5.6 million in tax credits from the California Film Commission for bringing the production to the state.[14]

On September 13, 2015, Don Burgess was confirmed as the film's director of photography.[15] In September 2015, Frances O'Connor, Simon McBurney, newcomer Lauren Esposito, and Madison Wolfe joined the cast.[16][17][18][19] Franka Potente, Simon Delaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and newcomers Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh were also reported to have been cast in late September 2015.[20] In November 2015, it was announced that Abhi Sinha had joined the cast of the film.[21] On December 1, 2015, it was confirmed that Sterling Jerins would reprise her role as the Warrens' daughter Judy.[22]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for The Conjuring 2 began on September 21, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.[23] Due to an inexplicable series of events during production of the first film, a priest from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe was brought in to bless the set of the sequel by the film's producers.[24][25] Production moved to London on November 18, 2015, with filming taking place in and around The Warrington, a pub in the residential district of Maida Vale. On November 22, filming took place at Marylebone station.[26] Filming concluded on December 1, 2015.[27][28] Production lasted for 50 days, with 40 days filming on sets and locations in Los Angeles, and 10 days on location in London.[29]

Music[edit]

The original musical score for The Conjuring 2 was written by Joseph Bishara and was released on June 3, 2016, by WaterTower Music.[30][31] Bishara, a recurring collaborator of director James Wan, composed the score after having previously written the music for The Conjuring and the Insidious film series.[32] Lead actor Patrick Wilson performs Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" on a guitar in the film, while songs such as The Clash's "London Calling", Bee Gees's "I Started A Joke" and the traditional nursery rhyme "This Old Man" are also featured. Composer Mark Isham's family themes from the first film, "Photograph" and "Happy Family", were also used in The Conjuring 2.[33]

Distribution[edit]

Marketing[edit]

In December 2015, Entertainment Weekly released the first image from the film, introducing the character portrayed by Madison Wolfe.[34] On January 6, 2016, James Wan posted a teaser clip to his social media accounts revealing that the first official trailer would debut the following day.[35] Also on January 6, Yahoo! Movies exclusively released two stills from the film, featuring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.[25] On March 26, 2016, Wan premiered the full-length trailer at WonderCon.[36] In the weeks leading up to the film's premiere, TV spots began airing.[37] This was followed by a featurette titled Strange Happenings in Enfield, in which the Hodgson sisters and Lorraine Warren discuss their experiences with the case.[38] Two weeks prior to The Conjuring 2's premiere, fans were given the opportunity to take a 360-degree virtual reality tour of the film's Enfield house setting.[39] Following that, another featurette was released, titled Audio Recordings, which featured a recording of the demon that inspired the film.[40]

Theatrical release[edit]

The Conjuring 2 was originally scheduled to be released on October 23, 2015,[41] but in October 2014, Warner Bros. pulled the film from the schedule and set the film for an unspecified 2016 release date.[42] In November 2014, the film was set a release date for June 10, 2016.[43] The Conjuring 2 had its red carpet world premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre on June 7, 2016, as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival's program, three days prior to its wide release.[44]

On June 17, 2016, a 65-year-old man died of a heart attack while watching the film at a cinema in Tiruvannamalai, India.[45]

Home media[edit]

The Conjuring 2 was released as a digital download on August 30, 2016, and on DVD and Blu-ray on September 13, 2016.[46] Bonus features include behind the scenes footage, featurettes, and deleted scenes.[47]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Conjuring 2 became a huge financial success like its predecessor, grossing $102.5 million in the United States and Canada and $217.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total gross of $320.3 million.[3] Although it earned less in North America than the first film, it fared better internationally and overall, making 0.5% more than the first film.[48][49] The film was the highest grossing horror film of the year and the second highest-grossing horror film overall of all time, behind only 1973's The Exorcist ($441.3 million).[50][51][52] It was partly credited for the success of fellow Warner Bros. horror film Lights Out, which was released a month later.[53][54] Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $98.3 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the 14th most profitable release of 2016.[55]

In North America, the film opened on June 10, 2016, alongside Warcraft and Now You See Me 2, and was projected to gross $35–40 million from 3,343 theaters in its opening weekend.[2][56] The film grossed $3.4 million from its Thursday night previews, besting the $3.3 million made by its predecessor, and $16.4 million in its first day.[57][58] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $40.4 million from 3,434 theaters (almost matching its predecessor's $41.9 million opening),[59] making it the biggest opening for a horror film since the original film in 2013, the biggest ever for the month of June (breaking The Purge's record),[60] and the fifth biggest for a horror film of all time, behind the first film, the second and third installments in the Paranormal Activity franchise ($40.6 million and $52.5 million respectively), and Friday the 13th ($40.6 million).[50] Following a first-place finish in its first weekend of release, the film faced a steep decline of 63.2% in its second weekend (earning $14.8 million from 3,356 theaters); this was a much larger drop than The Conjuring (46.9%) and Annabelle (57.3%). As a result, it slipped to third place behind newcomers Finding Dory and Central Intelligence, another film from New Line Cinema.[61] It began to lose a considerable amount of theaters by its third weekend as a result of numerous newly released films. Forbes magazine noted that The Conjuring 2 was falling faster than the previous film, but had already made more than Insidious: Chapter 2, Annabelle, and both The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy had done at that point in their releases.[62] Unlike its predecessor, The Conjuring 2 proved to be more front-loaded, earning 2.5 times its opening weekend, compared to the original film earning 3.22 times its debut numbers.[63]

Outside North America, the film has been released across 60 countries.[64] It became a big hit in Latin America and performed exceptionally well in other Catholic countries due to its spiritual themes, while it also did well in the U.K., where the film is set.[52] It was released across 44 countries the same weekend as its United States release, and grossed $51.5 million in its opening weekend from 10,400 screens, debuting in second place behind Warcraft.[65][66] It added another $43.1 million in its second weekend from a total of 57 countries as well as passing the $100 million threshold. However, it still remained in second place at the international box office, behind then-newcomer Finding Dory.[67]

It recorded the biggest opening day of all time for a horror film in 24 markets, including Mexico ($1.6 million), Brazil ($735,000), Australia ($401,000), and all of Latin America.[68] Moreover, in terms of opening weekend, the film scored the biggest opening for a horror film in 26 markets, including Mexico ($9 million), Brazil ($4.1 million), and Australia ($3 million).[66] In Argentina, the film scored the second biggest opening for Warner Bros. with $2.85 million, behind only Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[69] In South Korea, the film opened to $4 million,[66] France to $3.7 million,[64] Spain to $1.85 million, Russia to $1.75 million,[67] and Italy to $1.1 million.[70] The film faced stiff competition against Central Intelligence in Germany, making $2.1 million in its opening weekend, placing in second behind the aforementioned film.[67] In the United Kingdom, the film earned an opening weekend of £4.6 million ($6.8 million) from 504 theaters, over twice its predecessor's opening ($3.3 million).[71] In terms of total earnings, its biggest markets outside of North America were in Mexico ($20.3 million), the United Kingdom ($15.3 million), South Korea ($11.5 million) and India ($11.5 million).[70][72][54] It has become the highest-grossing Warner Bros. film in Chile with a total gross of $5.4 million.[72]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 212 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Conjuring 2 can't help but lose a bit of its predecessor's chilly sting through familiarity, but what remains is still a superior ghost story told with spine-tingling skill."[73] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor.[74]

In her review for The Hollywood Reporter, Sheri Linden praised the film, saying, "Three years after The Conjuring rattled the multiplex with old-school horror, director James Wan ups the ante with an excellent sequel."[75] Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a mixed review, writing, "On one level, The Conjuring 2 is just a not-bad megaplex funhouse movie, no more and no less, but on another level it offers its potential fans a helping of reassurance to go along with the fear. If there are ghost demons out there, then God must be out there as well. Audiences, it was long ago proven, will pay to see both."[76] TheWrap's Alonso Duralde gave the film a positive review, stating, "Frightening rarely strikes twice in the same place, despite the efforts of so many horror sequels, but even if The Conjuring 2 doesn't deliver the delightful jolts of its predecessor, it maintains a consistent chill throughout, with a slow and steady dread that creeps up on you over time."[77]

In a mixed review, Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, writing, "There are some solid scares (Wan is too gifted in the dark art of gotcha manipulation to not make you leap a few times), but there's nothing on par with the first film's brilliant hide-and-clap scene with Lili Taylor."[78] Jacob Wilkins of The Cavalier Daily lauded the film, calling Wan a "master of horror" and remarked that the film was "fresh, original and unsettling".[79] Pete Hammond of Deadline.com wrote that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the sequel and what Wan has accomplished with the film, stating, "Wan knows the tricks of this trade (heightened sound effects, moving furniture, dark corners) but somehow miraculously he really puts a fresh spin on it all here. It's riveting stuff, even if in a familiar cinematic environment." He added, "It is one hell of a movie."[80]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Empire Awards March 19, 2017 Best Horror The Conjuring 2 Nominated [81]
Golden Tomato Awards January 12, 2017 Best Horror Movie of 2016 5th Place [82]
Golden Trailer Awards May 4, 2016 Best Horror New Line Cinema Nominated [83][84]
Best Horror TV Spot Won
People's Choice Awards January 18, 2017 Favorite Thriller Movie The Conjuring 2 Nominated [85]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Horror Film Pending [86]

Future[edit]

Potential sequel[edit]

Wan has stated on further potential sequels, "There could be many more [Conjuring] movies because the Warrens have so many stories". Screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes have also expressed interest in working on a story for another sequel.[87] However, Wan stated that he may be unable to direct the film due to his commitments to other projects.[88] He stated to Collider.com, "Assuming we are lucky enough to have a third chapter, there are other filmmakers that I would love to sort of continue on the Conjuring world, if we are lucky enough".[89] Wan has also stated that, if a third film was to be made, it would ideally take place in the 1980s.[90] Wan later stated that the sequel could include lycanthropy: "Maybe we can go and do it like a classic American Werewolf in London style. That would be awesome! The Warrens set against the backdrop of The Hound of Baskerville. That would be awesome."[91] In May 2017, Safran commented on the unlikelihood that a third installment would be a "haunted house" film.[92]

Spin-off films[edit]

The Nun[edit]

On June 15, 2016, it was reported that a spin-off film titled The Nun, focusing on the "Demon Nun" character Valak, was in development with Johnson writing the script. Wan and Safran are producing.[93] Corin Hardy was hired to direct the film, with a screenplay by Wan and Gary Dauberman.[94] It is scheduled to be released on July 13, 2018,[95] with Demián Bichir and Taissa Farmiga cast in the lead roles.[96][97] Bonnie Aarons will reprise her role in the film,[98] and Charlotte Hope, Jonas Bloquet, and Ingrid Bisu are set to co-star.[99][100][101] Filming began in May 2017 in Bucharest, Romania.[102]

The Crooked Man[edit]

On May 31, 2017, Peter Safran said there was a possibility of a Crooked Man film.[103] On June 14, 2017, it was reported that a spin-off film titled The Crooked Man, featuring the character of the same name from The Conjuring 2, was in development with Mike Van Waes writing the screenplay from a story by James Wan, and Wan and Safran set to produce the project.[104]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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