Patrick Wilson is having a terrifyingly big year at the box office. First, the actor appeared as Ed Warren in the surprise blockbuster “The Conjuring,” a terrifying tale of New England exorcism. The modestly budgeted horror film won critical acclaim and grossed over $135 million at the box office, making it one of the summer’s biggest success stories.
Now Wilson’s hoping to repeat that success with “Insidious: Chapter 2,” the sequel to 2011’s horror hit that pairs Wilson once again with “The Conjuring” and “Insidious” director James Wan. The sequel picks up where the first film’s cliffhanger left off, with Wilson’s character Josh Lambert not alone inside of his own body. Despite the similarities behind the scenes, Wilson believes his characters could not be more different.
“The fact that it’s me and [director] James [Wan] and the same genre is about where the similarity [between ’The Conjuring’ and ’Insidious: Chapter 2′] ends,” reveals Wilson. “It’s one thing when you’re being possessed; it’s another thing when you’re trying to get rid of the possession.”
One other thing that makes the two characters different? Wilson’s “Conjuring” character was based on a real-life paranormal investigator. “They really couldn’t be further apart, when you have one guy that’s real, so you have whole books and photos and things you can look at to see, [and] tapes to listen to. That was a very sort of realistic approach. With [’Insidious: Chapter 2′], you can sort of take what’s on the page and what my relationship is like [with Rose Byrne], and that drama, and see where that goes.”
While Wilson’s co-star Rose Byrne may not have as many hit horror films on her resumé, she revealed that she has the real-life chops to survive a terrifying experience. When asked what she would do if she heard a bump in her house similar to the kind other-dimensional visitors cause in “Insidious,” Byrne told her own home invasion story.
“There was one time I could hear some rattling going around in my house when I was about 15, and I went upstairs and there was a guy trying to break in,” said Byrne. “I was like, ’What are you doing?’ Putting my hands on my [hips] in my pajamas. And he was like, [slurring] ’I just thought I was…’ He was drunk! He was just trying to get into the house. I said, ’I’m going to call the police if you don’t get out of here,’ and I went back to bed… I lie awake and I could hear him go.”
Don’t expect to get a story as neat and pat as Byrne’s in “Insidious: Chapter 2,” though. Wilson revealed that fans who’ve enjoyed the first film’s disturbing take on classic Hollywood haunting films had better prepare themselves for something different in this film.
“I think with this one also, we get into such a fantasy element, which is what this movie does more so than the first one,” explained Wilson. “It really pushes that, which is good, which is what you should do. You should push the envelope.”
“Insidious: Chapter 2″ hits theaters on September 13th.