Today at WonderCon, the Warner Bros. panel featuring a presentation from James Wan’s The Conjuring. Wan set the tone for the panel by presenting two creepy clips that sent waves of nervous energy coursing through the audience. The footage got great crowd reactions and will certainly create some buzz leading up to the film’s summer release date. Also on hand were members of the real-life victims of this particular haunting and the original paranormal investigators upon which the film is based.
The Conjuring, opening July 19th, stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Joey King and Mackenzie Foy. Hit the jump for our panel recap.
- The first clip followed Lili Taylor’s character Carolyn playing a game of hide-and-seek with her daughter, with the creepy tone that Wan is known for on display. After establishing the “clap, clap” motif seen in the most recent trailer, Carolyn is then led on a late-night journey throughout the house, lured by unexplained events like picture frames crashing to the ground and doors opening mysteriously. The claps lead her into the basement where the lights go out and she’s forced to light a match. Those in the audience who hadn’t seen the scary moment in the teaser trailer had quite the great reaction
- The second clip centered on the kids, Christine and Nancy, who were asleep in their beds until something woke them up. Christine freaks the audience out by doing things that she shouldn’t, like looking under the bed…twice, and very slowly. Then the older sister Nancy investigates at Christine’s insistence that something is lurking in the shadows behind the door.
Both clips elicited a lot of great responses from the audience and a fair amount of nervous laughter and chatter. What follows is a recap of the panel discussion:
- James Wan then took the stage along with the real-life people involved in the story behind The Conjuring. Paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren was joined by Andrea and Cindy Perron, who were the daughters seen in the film.
- Andrea Perron commented that she was surprised to see so many elements of her story captured on film, especially the authentic and accurate love bond between the family members. She called Wan a “gifted director.”
- Wan said that he had nothing left to prove in the horror genre and took on The Conjuring because he wanted to tell a story based on the lives of the Perrons and the work of the Warrens with authenticity.
- Lorraine Warren was very happy with the portrayal of herself and her husband Ed and stressed that the level of infestation in that house, along with the terrified mother and children, made it one of the most extreme cases they ever had to deal with.
- Wan paid attention to the period detail of the film and said that it’s difficult to tell a scary story in a contemporary time since, if someone’s in danger, they can simply reach for their cellphone to call someone. In the 70s, during which the movie takes place, people had to use the dedicated telephone line in the house itself, which just so happens to be the location of the source of their terror. He found it liberating to take this old-school approach.
- Though Wan planned to make a PG-13 movie, the ratings board came back with an R rating simply because the film was “too scary.” They cited no specific scenes that could be altered or removed, but also didn’t mess with Wan’s film, which the director was thankful for.