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A new 'Chapter' for Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson in “Insidious: Chapter 2”

Patrick Wilson in “Insidious: Chapter 2” Credit: Patrick Wilson in “Insidious: Chapter 2”

Horror movies are having a moment right now, with the genre providing many of Hollywood’s biggest runaway successes.

And Patrick Wilson is right at the forefront.

The veteran actor teamed up with “Saw” director James Wan on “Insidious” in 2011, which earned some $97 million worldwide against a $1.5 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo. This summer’s “The Conjuring,” their sophomore joint effort, has brought in some $259 million globally.

Expectations are therefore justifiably raised for “Insidious: Chapter 2,” which opens tomorrow and returns us to the story of the haunted Lambert family.

amNewYork spoke with Wilson about the movie and his status as a horror god.

What excited you about this sequel? I was so excited to read this because I felt like — and I was right — what they wanted to do ... was swing a big stick. And get almost surreal. It, at times, felt like not “A Nightmare on Elm Street” as [much as] it was a [David] Lynch movie, where it got very bizarre. I like that.

Is it more fun to go over-the-top, as you do here? Whether it’s a fun comedic role or a fun villain role, anytime you get to go out of your box ... Listen, it’s a wonderful thing to do a leading man role, fantastic, but every leading man wants to do some character roles and vice versa.

Why are horror movies doing so well now? The success of “The Conjuring” this summer, even that as a microcosm in the midst of all these tentpoles ... why did that movie succeed? Yes, the movie’s very good, yes, I think that movie crosses over boundaries of just the 18-35 male horror-driven audience, obviously, or it wouldn’t make that much money. Because you get interested in story. When you think of classic horror movies it usually comes down to character and to storytelling. ... That never goes away.

Are you seen as the ‘horror guy’ now? I’m reaping the benefits … because “Insidious” and “Conjuring” have done so well. So all of a sudden, you’re a horror guy. Well, no, I just did two, they just both happened to work ... The reality is, from my opinion, it hasn’t changed the perception of me.

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