James Wan’s 2013 horror film The Conjuring surprised every human and moviegoing poltergeist, including our own Vince Mancini, when it made $318 million on a $20 million budget and received mostly positive reviews. Starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as real-life couple Lorraine and Ed Warren — “a husband-and-wife-team who tour colleges giving very sciencey lectures on spooky demon stuff” and are thusly called over to help bust ghosts at the residence of Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston — The Conjuring was a “delightfully simple” film, one filled with old-school horror tropes that was only “kind of dumb.” What more could one want from a modern horror film, really, than merely moderate idiocy and several classic jump scares?
The Conjuring‘s smashing success made possible three things: 1) a terrible spin-off entitled Annabelle, 2) a lawsuit from the owners of the “real” Conjuring house, who have been besieged by crazed fans, and 3) a sequel, The Conjuring 2, that’s set to hit theaters this summer. Set several years after The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 purports to tell “the next true story from the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren.” This film sees the jaunty pair traveling to north London, where they’ve been summoned to “help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.” Single parenting, amiright?
The Conjuring 2‘s story is allegedly based on that of the Enfield poltergeist, a series of 1970s hauntings that Wikipedia explains were either totally real or totally made up. Either one. Regardless, the first trailer for the sequel dropped today, and it bodes well for the film in that it’s vaguely terrifying and, again, only kind of dumb. All manner of classic horror tropes make a brief appearance here: There’s the lone swing, pushing itself. There’s the ominously ticking clock. There’s the dark, empty house with the terrible ’70s furniture. There’s the precocious British child pinned to the ceiling.
Wan is back in the director’s chair for the sequel, and writers Chad and Carey Hayes are returning, as well. New names include Frances O’Connor as the aforementioned single mom, and Lauren Esposito, Madison Wolfe, Benjamin Haigh, and Patrick McAuley as her children/friends of Satan.
The Conjuring 2 hits theaters June 10, 2016.