More so than its clever scares and its terrifyingly effective slow burn pacing – harkening back to chillers of the 1970s – what made 2013’s The Conjuring stand out from its peers was the cast of real, human, empathetic characters. It was a film that worked not only on the visceral level that horror aims for, but as a moving, emotional character story with resonant, powerful themes.
The challenge, then, with James Wan’s The Conjuring 2, is to recapture that sense of connection to characters with an almost entirely new cast. On that front, Wan succeeds marvelously. Before the horrors start, the inhabitants of the soon-to-be-haunted Enfield home are compelling and sympathetic in their own right, which makes their descent into the world of the terrifying and the supernatural all the more effective for an audience.
Heroic Hollywood, along with writers from several other publications, had a chance to sit down with Madison Wolfe and Frances O’Connor to talk about portraying the story of this family and what it was like to work with James Wan.