2016 Awards Profile: ‘The Conjuring 2’ from James Wan


Welcome to the 2016 Awards Profiles series, where we talk about high and low-profile films coming to a theater near you at some point this year. We will analyze the potential for these films to be players for the Academy Awards, and while many of these have the potential to be recognized, many will not either by quality or being pushed back to the following year. For the next eight weeks, we will bring you a film every weekday to talk about their potential. If you have a suggestion, please include it in the comments below. If you missed a film, click on the tag or category Awards Profile.

Director: James Wan

Writers: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan, and David Leslie Johnson

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Franka Potente, Simon Delaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, Frances O’Connor, Simon McBurney, Lauren Esposito, Madison Wolfe

Synopsis: Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

Why It Might Succeed:

James Wan is one of Hollywood’s most reliable directors, both visually and financially. His last film, Furious 7, made over $1.5 billion, The Conjuring made over $100 million, and he has been tapped to direct Aquaman, meaning he certainly understands how to make a genre film appeal to the masses. Unlike most sequels, they actually took time to develop The Conjuring 2, meaning that the quality could certainly be up to par with the rest of James’ output. The recent trailer played well at WonderCon and the CinemaCon crowd also raved about the extended footage.

Past the word of mouth, James Wan’s films always have strong technical aspects and his classical cinema approach to filmmaking could be appealing for Academy members, particularly in cinematography (who could forget this scene) and sound design.

Also, the movie can possibly work off the TV heat that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson garnered this past year.

Why It Might Fail:

Max Max: Fury Road was the first sequel to be nominated for Best Picture without the previous films in the franchise being nominated and that took a Herculean effort from the critics to even get the ball rolling. If The Conjuring 2 is not getting “Best of the Genre!” reviews, then it won’t make much of a dent in the awards race.

Also, the Academy has fallen out of love with horror in favor for scifi recently, so films like this definitely have a tough road towards Academy glory.

Oscar Potential
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Visual Effects