Directed by: James Wan (Insidious)
Written by: Chad Hayes (Conjuring), Carey Hayes (Conjuring), David Johnson (Orphan), James Wan (Saw)
Starring: Vera Farmiga (The Departed), Patrick Wilson (Insidious)
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Before this trailer dropped, even though I absolutely adore The Conjuring, I was hesitant about a sequel. The horror genre, especially as of late, has become a breeding ground for safe and cheap sequels (think Paranormal Activity). But now that the film’s teaser trailer has arrived, there might not be another 2016 film to look forward to — not featuring Batman — more than The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist.
James Wan, opting to turn down a guaranteed success in Fast and Furious 8, is answering prayers (or summonings) by returning to helm the follow-up to his 2013 horror treasure. And clearly, whoever edited this trailer either knows Wan intimately or is the auteur himself. His trademark pacing and camerawork — which made Saw, Insidious (no need to mention Insidious 2) and The Conjuring such standouts — are prevalent and blaring. The trailer needs neither setup nor payoff. It merely suspends your neck from a tree’s wiry limb and tugs at the rope until you’re begging it to let go.
Story-wise, they offered nothing but the promise of the Warrens and another entry from their real-life files, which are enough to assure Conjuring fans of a wretched time at the theater. Oddly enough, however, Wan’s horror muse Patrick Wilson, who never fails to elevate their outings, is barely featured, signaling that Warner Bros. is selling their movie on atmosphere alone, and successfully so.
In an era where horror films have found jarring success with uniformly dull trailers, the Conjuring 2 teaser dares to escape the mold and enter the gates of a Hell that only Wan knows. Instead of attempting to stab you in the gut one too many times, the trailer wraps a bedsheet over your head, shoves you in a closet and lapses the ventilation. It should cause anyone, if alive and mortal, to freak out for The Conjuring 2, out of both anticipation and dread.