Badass panel moderator Chris Hardwick brought James Wan up on stage to talk about his new horror movie The Conjuring along with the film's stars Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, and Lili Tayor. Vera Farmiga also stars in the film but wasn't able to be at the panel.
The film is set in the 1970's and based on the true story of a family with five kids that is haunted by several spirits, and one of them is supposedly an evil ass witch, hell bent on torturing the poor family. The family calls in a couple of paranormal investigators to investigate and explain the unusual activity in the house, and help to make it stop.
The supernatural events took place in the Rhode Island, the home of the Perron family. Wilson and Farmiga play a husband and wife team of demonologists and psychic investigators, Lorraine and Ed Warren, who enter the most horrifying case of their career. Livingston and Taylor play the couple living in the house. The movie is actually based on the book House of Darkness, House of Light: The True Story by Andrea Perron.
They ended up premiering the first trailer from the film, and holy shit is was awesome! It got a great reaction from the audience. The movie comes from the same director that brought us Saw and Insidious, and looks like it could be his best work to date. It's an incredibly terrifying looking film that I know horror fans are going to love!
Hopefully they release the trailer sometime soon so you can all see it! I think you're going to be surprised by how fantastically creepy the movie looks.
They also showed a great short clip from the film that scared the hell out of those attending the panel. It got a great reaction. The clip starts out with a fun little game of hide and seek between a mother and daughter. The mom blindfolds herself as the daughter runs out and has to clap so the mom can find her. She ends up playing hide and seek with one of the ghosts in the house that escalates into a terrifying moment for the audience. She hears rustling from a closet in the room she's in and starts to move towards it with her hands stretched out -- of course the girl isn't in there! As she gets closer, a ghostly pair of hands pops out of the closet and claps. As she gets to the closet she starts to feel around and realizes her daughter isn't there. Her daughter then runs into the room behind her, and the mom is left wondering what the hell just happened.
The second clip they showed took place in the evening after the kids go to bed. The mother is in her room getting ready for bed when she starts to hear the clapping again. She thinks it's the kids and starts looking around the house as she is following the sounds of the claps. Suddenly all of the pictures and frames over the staircase are thrown to the floor in a shattering jolt. She ends up following more sounds into the cellar, where the door slams shut behind her. It's pitch black until she lights a match. As she sits there terrified, listening to the creepy noises, that same pair of ghostly hands come out of the darkness from be hind her and claps right next to her face.
I know my explanation does the scene no justice but when you see it for yourself, you'll feel the horror!
One of the things I love about what I saw from this movie is that it screws with people's minds, and it looks freakin' great! I love horror movies that skip the whole blood and guts aspects of things -- this is one of those films. It relies on story and classic film and old school tactics. The director of the movie said that he wanted this to have the same feel of several of the old ghost story movies that we don't see much of these days, paying tribute to movies like The Haunting and The Amityville Horror. The film is set in the 1970's and he really wanted it to have that creepy 70's horror movie vibe.
Here's a few other things that Wan mentioned during the Panel...
- He says that The Conjuring is more grounded in reality than Insidious, which makes it scarier.
- As pointed out by one of the NYCC attendees who grew up next to the actual house depicted in the film, the locations in the movie aren't very accurate. Wan explained that the "heightened" set pieces were used as a way to convey the point of view of the family this happened to.
- He wants to direct another ghost story -- he teased that he may have another idea -- but he would also like to take on other film genres like action, sci-fi or a even comic book movie.
I loved Insidious, I thought it was a great horror flick, but I'll be honest, this looks like this is going to be even better. I loved what I saw during this panel, and hopefully Warner Bros. releases the trailer and the clips for it sometime in the near future. Once it's released we'll make sure to get them up on the site for you!
The Conjuring opens July 19, 2013, and it looks like it's going to be worth watching!