James Wan Discusses The Horror Heroes Of ‘The Conjuring 2’

Director James Wan’s making plenty of waves with recent and the behind-the-scenes drama . But before the filmmaker heads to the world of superheroes, he’s going back to the horror genre with The Conjuring 2.

Wan’s follow-up to his 2013 horror hit has already earned , and in a recent interview with Uproxx, the director discussed why he thinks people are drawn to the continued paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Conjuring was a huge hit for Warner Bros., with a box office gross of $318 million along with critical and fan praise. Wan thinks that’s thanks in part to the film’s well-developed characters:

“I do think it’s partly because people love that they have real characters and it takes time to tell people’s stories and it’s not just about the scary set pieces, and the human element is what resonates with a lot of people”

While most horror series follow a villain or slasher, The Conjuring follows the saviors instead. To Wan, the Warrens “work somewhat like superheroes,” coming in to save victims from supernatural terrors.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in "The Conjuring."

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in “The Conjuring.”

To facilitate more character development, The Conjuring 2 clocks in with a 135-minute runtime. That’s pretty long for a horror film, but in the end Wan thinks it was the right call:

“It’s kind of funny, that is one of the key criticisms I hear right now is that ‘The movie is a bit long, but we love the characters.’ Well, you can’t have both worlds! Because if you like the characters, I need the time to take to create it so I’m not just jumping into scare scene after scare scene. I find that stuff really boring. And for myself, I’ve kind of done a lot of those scare scenes and I know how to do them – that part doesn’t challenge me at all. What’s interesting to me are the characters of Ed and Lorraine Warren.”

Wan’s Conjuring films have carved a unique space in the world of horror by flipping the script and following a pair of heroes instead of monstrous villains. The Warrens may be expert demonologists and paranormal investigators, but they’re also real people facing incredible challenges. Audiences can relate to them a lot more than they can relate to horror icons like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Freddy Kreuger, whose continued adventures have become more lackluster with each sequel. And with a more personal connection to the characters comes increased scares, because you actually care about their fate when you watch the film.

The Conjuring 2 hits theaters June 10. Are you excited for the big-screen return of Ed and Lorraine Warren? Let us know in the comments.