Listen to the Voices: the Story Behind The Conjuring 2

01 Jun 2016

2013 saw the true story of two paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, hit the silver screen in the blockbuster thriller The Conjuring. With the task to confront a terrifying demonic presence, the Warrens were thrown into a world of possession, exorcism and monstrous horror. Now, three years later, the couple are back in The Conjuring 2, face to face with another spine-chilling spectre at the hands of director James Wan.

The Conjuring was an absolutely terrifying movie, and the second looks to be even more horrific. However, behind the scenes the process is more than just haunting. Vera Farmiga, who plays Lorraine Warren, says that for her, working with James Wan is like “a dance, considering every little movement, every head turn, every step, every breath.” And that his “humorous bedside manner” make him a joy to work with. For Patrick Wilson, who plays Ed Warren, “there's a shorthand” and “comfort level” which makes settling back into the process with James an absolute joy. For both actors, working on horror films is all about controlling their reactions to produce the most startling performance – “I want them to be scared”, says Patrick.
The Conjuring 2 - Case Files of Ed and Lorraine Warren

This isn't to say the actors don't go through their own fair share of fear while preparing for their roles. The film is once again based on a true story, this time of the Enfield Poltergeist of the 70s, and that means both Wilson and Farmiga embark on an intense journey in preparation for the parts. Vera made it her mission to tap into Lorraine's “sustained joy” in the face of evil, and the two leads even went to meet her when the first film was in production. “Lorraine is as sweet as molasses; her nature is kind and compassionate and gentle. I focus on her gracefulness, her poise”, says Farmiga.

For Patrick, the most imperative part of preparing for his portrayal of Ed once more was getting into the mind-set of someone who would always choose fight over flight. An unlikely couple, but when together the two really complement one another. What stands out most is that both actors had to get as deep as they could into the reports of the Enfield haunting, which was no easy task. The years and years of psychological torment that the Hodgson family went through in 1977 was the hardest to research. Vera admits that “the relentless distress and trauma is beyond my comprehension.” Patrick simply says that the audience will “really care about this family”.

The Conjuring 2 - Ed & Lorraine Warren

The film is set to feature an incredible cast who have each put their own unique spins on this chilling true story. Among this line up, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Simon Delaney stand out for Wilson and Farmiga, as “eclectic, dynamic, different” and with a respect for England's most documented case of haunting. For Vera especially, “Frances O’Conner is a formidable actress” who is “tough and deep and nuanced and easy-going and as big-hearted as they come.  As serious as the subject matter is, she fits in effortlessly and harmoniously to the frivolity and gaiety that Patrick and I establish.”

Clearly, for the process of making The Conjuring 2 to succeed, a balance had to be struck between appreciating the true severity of the happenings yet always keeping the actors comfortable and in high spirits so they perform the best they can. Both stars agree that they have the entire crew to thank for that.

The Conjuring 2 will be hitting cinemas on June 13th 2016, and is set to be one of the most thrilling releases since the first film in 2013. Listen to what the voices of Patrick and Vera are telling you – get ready for “the terror, the panic, the alarm, the fear and trembling” says Farmiga, “you will be genuinely freaked out”, adds Wilson. 

Ed and Lorraine Warren - The Conjuring 2

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