The Conjuring 2 might be director James Wan’s scariest film yet.
Star Patrick Wilson told EW that the sequel contains a scene that was the creepiest he has shot with Wan across four horror films (that’s two Insidious movies and the original The Conjuring — which was an acclaimed box office breakout).
The new film shifts the action from Rhode Island to England as 1970s paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), who are based on a real-life couple, take on The Enfield Poltergeist.
The Fargo star just returned from London where he finished his work on the film, so we probably caught him at the perfect time to get his fresh-off-the-set reactions.
“I will say this, and it’s always a tricky thing when you’ve only read it and done your part, but James and I were talking the other night and what we found so rewarding is that everybody across the board is bringing their A-game,” Wilson says. “We feel like we’ve been given this wonderful gift of success with the first one and we came back and [the studio] gave the picture a lot more money — so you can take more days and more time and more care. And James has pushed himself and pushed himself. A month ago we shot this one scene, and I said to him, ‘Four movies with you, man, and this was the creepiest scene I’ve ever done.’ It was so freaky and bizarre and strange — just get ready!”
Wilson pointed out he was impressed how Wan refuses to use the same technique twice when maneuvering to scare the audience.
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“Without giving anything away, he wouldn’t settle for the film ending with me giving an exorcism and then the witch goes away,” Wilson said. “We can’t do that again, so we don’t … I love that they pushed the skepticism of it, I love that they pushed the Warrens’ involvement, and it’s awesome. And we stole from a couple real situations where the Warrens were confronted by skeptics, because James is real conscious of that. He knows that fans who want to believe will see the movies, but he knows there are a lot of skeptics out there, so why not show that? We probably had more fun shooting it than the first one. I love it; it was fantastic.”
We then asked Wilson if this means — including that one scene — that The Conjuring sequel is also Wan’s scariest film overall. But the actor was understandably wary of going quite that far given how varied fan responses have been to the previous films. “It’s all so personal,” he says. “I don’t mean to sound like a politician, but some say the Insidious movies are the most frightening while others say the demon stuff doesn’t do it for them and they’re more scared of religions stuff so they like The Conjuring. It’s hard, and it’s hard when you’re in something because we’re breaking it down beat by beat. When you’re in a horror film it’s like doing an action sequence and you’re running and jumping 50 times and you have no idea how it’s going to look until it’s cut together.”
Wilson is currently starring in the second season of FX’s acclaimed drama Fargo and he’s also signed to star in the feature film adaptation of author Charlie Huston’s modern noir thriller Caught Stealing.