‘The Conjuring 2’ Makes Bank, Proves True Horror Is Back [Video]

The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist is much more than just a horror movie. The Conjuring franchise has singlehandedly revived a sub-genre favorite that was perhaps most prominent in the 1970s when movies like The Amityville, Haunting, The Entity, and The Exorcist ruled the world.

First of all, the horror of The Conjuring 2 is more about what’s going on in the audiences’ heads than what’s on-screen. The film franchise took a cue from the original The Exorcist marketing campaign and spent less time talking about the frightening scenes that viewers would see on-screen and more time talking about the real life events that inspired the film.

That is where James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 and its predecessor have been able to really cash in. According to Forbes, The Conjuring 2 was forecast to pull in a mere $33 million this weekend and potentially be outdone by two other films opening, which were Warcraft and Now You See Me 2.

Not only did The Conjuring 2 outpace that forecast, but it did so by nearly $7 million, leaving its other competitors far away in the wind. The total $40 million that it pulled in was only a hair’s length behind the first Conjuring film by James Wan, proving that the true horror film has the necessary mojo to pull in the audience and make bank with the nation and the world.

So why has this R-rated horror film done so well? Well, as many already know, The Conjuring 2 is based n a supposedly true story, which was an account from the Warrens’ (Ed and Lorraine) investigation files.

That leads to the next obvious answer. James Wan’s The Conjuring franchise is all about true horror. Although some horror films in the past have been based in part on a true story, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Conjuring 2 is a more accurate depiction of what Ed and Lorraine Warren experienced in their investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist. The franchise uses the real life people and their likeness to make the story more authentic.

Therein, the people that crowd movie theaters across the world for The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist are there to see the film version of an event that they perceive as an accurate depiction of an event that really happened in the 1970s.

The fact that The Conjuring 2 takes place in the 1970s also awakens another sleeping giant inside the psyche of film patrons. That was an era that was ripe with ghost story films that were also supposedly based on real events. One those films, The Amityville Haunting, was one of the most polarizing films of the era that also served as a bookend to the “true horror” craze in the 1970s.

Coincidentally, the Warrens also did an investigation on the Amityville case, but that was after the events that took place there, which was the Lutz event that was portrayed in the film. But in The Conjuring 2, the Amityville case was also touched upon, so there is some crossover on that account.

What some fans may not know is that The Amityville Haunting was based on a book written by Jay Anson. Anson wrote the self-proclaimed non-fiction novel after extensive interviews with the Lutz family and it was also based off of his own research on the DeFeo murders that took place before the Lutz family moved in. The movie was not based on the Warren case files.

But James Wan’s The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist does prove that the American audience is just as attracted to true horror stories as it is to true crime, such as True Detective on HBO. Also, with the success of The Conjuring 2, that could be a good indication that American audiences will start seeing a craze of true horror films hit the theatrical circuit in the near future.

[Image via Warner Bros]