It’s only been a few years since the first one, but for fans of James Wan’s The Conjuring, this sequel couldn’t come soon enough. Wan has proven himself a skilled and versatile director of old-school horror cinema, which may have been one reason he was eager to change up genres and take on a Fast and Furious movie, to excellent effect. But The Conjuring wasn’t just a blockbuster smash that all but ensured the director would return for a sequel; it was also a critically acclaimed and eerily potent scare-fest that drew on classics of the genre without ever feeling like a retread. Now, that ability to avoid repeating the past will really be put to the test, as today brings the trailer for his sequel, The Conjuring 2.
Returning to paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, the latter making his fourth horror movie team-up with the director in almost as many years), the new film finds them traveling to England to explore what came to be known as the Enfield poltergeist. Set in 1977, Wan’s eye for period detail appears stronger than ever, although—as usual—his focus is on the interior of a single location, here a council house in Brimsdown village. This time around, the Warrens attempt to help single mother Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) and her four children, though the trailer mostly gives us the harrowing experience of one daughter in particular (played by Madison Wolfe). There’s nothing quite as iconic here as the ghostly handclaps behind Lili Taylor in the first one, and only fleeting glimpses of co-stars Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black), Franka Potente, and Simon McBurney. But there’s also almost no way we won’t be there opening night on June 10. Scary is scary, and Wan seems like he still has something to prove.