In July of 2013, Warner Bros. and director James Wan (INSIDIOUS) will unleash some summertime scares with THE CONJURING, a horror film inspired by the true story of world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and their involvement with a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded New England farmhouse. THE CONJURING stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston.
A trailer and some footage were shown from THE CONJURING at New York Comic-Con, and yours truly was in attendance. In addition, I had an opportunity to chat with Wan, Wilson, Taylor and Livingston briefly. You'll have to wait on those interviews, but here's a quick recap of the panel:
- THE CONJURING is James Wan's ode to 70s haunted house flicks like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (its takes place in the 70s); a "classic ghost story." Old-school special effects, no CGI. The film is about a family who live in a farmhouse that is besieged by a whole bunch of different spirits and entities - but there's on that is particularly bad, the spirit of a witch that is, as Wan puts it, "just f*cking with them." Ed and Lorraine Warren (the latter is clairvoyant) are the ghost-hunters called in to investigate.
In fact, Wan so wants to replicate the look and feel of the era that he said he wants it to feel as if they had gone back in time to make THE CONJURING.
- Talking about what his future holds, Wan said he's probably got one more haunted house flick like this up his sleeve, then he wants to move on to another genre. He's keen to try a superhero flick. (At one point he said "One day I'm going to direct Batman and this will be my Bruce Wayne!" referring to Patrick Wilson.)
- The trailer is very cool; looks more or less like a "period" version of INSIDIOUS, with the same intensely crafted scare sequences. One particular shot of a ghost jumping off of a dresser onto a person is particularly memorable. There are lots of bodies being yanked off of beds, thrown into walls, etc. There's also a ghoulish visage that reveals itself that could haunt a few dreams. (The catchphrase seems to be "Look what she made me do..." as uttered by a young ghost.)
- A nice clip is shown to illustrate the mood the film is aiming for: Lili Taylor plays a version of hide-and-seek with her young daughter wherein she's blindfolded and her daughter goes off and claps to give away her location. (Think of it as Marco Polo without the water.) Taylor eventually discovers that something else is doing the clapping, leading to a few solid shock moments punctuated by loud noises and some ghostly limbs. This sequence had the audience in a frenzy and should provoke the same kind of "don't go in the basement!!" reactions from audiences when they get a hold of it. I must say that Wan looks to be at the top of his game here, and has really learned the art of misdirection with the camera - he knows just when to shift it, when to reveal a piece of information, when to make you lean forward, when to pin you back. Very impressive.
Stay tuned, because we'll be summoning up exclusive chats with Wan, Wilson, Livingston and Taylor for THE CONJURING soon enough!