Last night DC was on the black carpet for the premiere of James Wan’s new feature film, The Conjuring, where we spoke with many of the cast members and heard first-hand about the haunting 10-year experience the Perron family had inside that house in Harrisville, Rhode Island.
While working the press line, we were able to speak with one of the sisters, Andrea Perron; the paranormal investigator who witnessed it all first-hand, Lorraine Warren; as well as several members of the cast, including Mackenzie Foy, Joey King, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, and Vera Farmiga. Read on to see what everyone had to say about James Wan’s frightening new feature The Conjuring.
Mackenzie Foy (“Cindy Perron”):
On her character in the film: “I play Cindy Perron, one of the five sisters of the Perron family. She’s just a regular girl, a cool kid. Then all this paranormal activity starts happening in her house and affecting her whole family. It kind of changes her. She gets more scared and a bit more timid. And I can tell you, this movie is scary. Like…really scary.”
Joey King (“Christine Perron”):
On her the experience playing Christine Perron: “I play Christine Perron which is the middle sister and it’s so crazy knowing that what happened is real. Something happens to my character which is one of the first occurrences and it’s crazy. In fact, something weird happened to me on set. Our wonderfully talented fake mother Lili Taylor was filming the scenes where she was getting possessed. She was getting bruises all over, you know, her character was having bruises. At the same time we started filming the scene, I started getting bruises all over my body. Soft tissue spots, too. I was really freaked out. No one was touching me. And even when someone put a hand on my shoulder or something, I’d have a massive bruise there. We found out that I had a low platelet count. My blood had something wrong with it, which isn’t great, but I mean, it was better than knowing I was being possessed by a demon. Oh, and I’ve seen the film and on a scale from 1 to 10, it breaks the meter! It’s so scary!”
Lili Taylor (“Carolyn Perron”):
On her character’s torment in the film: “The being was inside of me, or her, so I was being tormented from within. You know, but she didn’t know she was actually being possessed…so I was just a mean awful character through the latter half of the movie. So I was actually tormenting everybody. So, I guess that’s not so hard!”
Ron Livingston (“Roger Perron”):
Comparing The Conjuring to horror classics like The Omen and The Shining: “What those movies really did was, I think they understood that when you take your time with something and really let the suspense play out and just be patient with it, the audience suffers from it the entire time. The first moment that they have an inkling that something’s going to happen, if it happens right away, then that’s scary for like half a second. But if you can tease it out so now it happens 25 seconds later, and they’re waiting for it the whole time…it’s like the difference between you doing something bad and your mom smacks you for it and her just saying, “Just wait till your dad gets home!” You know what I mean? It’s like which one is scarier?”
“The other thing I’ll say about that sort of old methodology is, they did so much with off screen horror. What I feel like that does, is it allows the audience to fill in the blanks. Everybody then thinks up their own scariest version individually and runs them around in a little Rolodex. Once you show it, now you’re just limited to that. I will say James, having seen Insidious and the things he was able to do with a guy with a red face, he makes it absolutely terrifying.”
Vera Farmiga (“Lorraine Warren”):
Horror films as catharsis: “You know, it’s a bolt of adrenaline. It’s a quick fix. It also makes you feel like, no matter how bad your day was, you know these characters have it worse. And it’s just good perspective. This is a spiritual film. I think we don’t dwell enough in our everyday lives. The afterlife, negative mysticism, positive mysticism – it’s kind of a chance to…it’s kind of like going to church!”
Lorraine Warren (Paranormal Investigator):
Recollecting her experience with the Perron family: “The event this movie is based on happened not quite thirty years ago. It was this woman and all these little children. The house was very real. What happened in the house was real. There was no other way about it. When you would see things levitate. When you would sit on a bed with the mother and see that bed go up in the air, it’s hard to deny it. This experience stood out because it’s a real family. This is a real family that is being terrified and frightened regarding what is going on in that house and you’re eye witness to it! I hope the movie educates people. That’s what I hope. That they’re being educated that these things exist.”
On her current case: “I’m still working. I’m working on a case in Connecticut. We’re still working so I can’t tell you what the outcome is going to be but things are moving in the house. The people are terrified and frightened. So, I’ve been working with them now for about a week or ten days. They believe in God but they don’t have a religion, so I’m going to try and get some clergy to go in there and help them to get rid of it.”
Andrea Perron (Author, House of Darkness House of Light):
Discussing the authenticity of the movie to her experience in the house: “We wanted the most authentic film possible. I provided them with as much information as I could and of course Mrs. Warren provided them with her notes and all of her case files. And so Chad and Carey Hayes, who are the screenwriters, took that and wove it into this marvelous tapestry of storytelling. There are slight fluctuations, but the thing is the story is out in the world now. People can say maybe it didn’t happen quite that way and maybe it didn’t happen quite that way! But it did happen. And the fact of the matter is that the way they portray it is what gives it the authentic feel. James Wan did not rely on CGI. He went for old school scares and he got it!”
Discussing the demon Bathsheba: “Mrs. Warren said it was Bathsheba and she came into that house not knowing anything and she stood in our kitchen and she said, “I have a sense of a pervasive evil in this house and her name is Bathsheba.” She knew nothing of what was going on in the house when that happened. So consequently we’ve always called her Bathsheba. Bathsheba’s curse…you know. She perceives herself to this moment to be the mistress of that house. When I look back and reflect, I think she felt such a challenge from my mother. She lusted after my father. She coveted us – the five girls. And she hated my mother and did everything she could to drive her from that home. She eventually succeeded.”
After 30 years, why it’s the right time to tell the story now: “The world has matured. I think that there are many more people now that believe in spirits and the supernatural. It’s not so taboo anymore. People know that there’s something. And what we’re trying to tell them is that there is good but there is also evil in this world. And that’s where the crux of the matter is. What James really captured with this film is the essence of our bond of love and our ability to overcome the fear that was consuming us in that house. He got it right.”
“I feel that it was imperative to not only tell our story but it was also important to acknowledge the spirits and tell their story as accurately and authentically as possible. That’s what I achieved in the books and I am so happy how the movie turned out.”
Read our review of The Conjuring here!
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story described in the book House of Darkness, House of Light: The True Story by Andrea Perron, The Conjuring tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.
From New Line Cinema comes a feature film drawn from the case files of married demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Conjuring stars Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel,” Orphan) and Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy, Insidious) as the Warrens and Ron Livingston (HBO’s “Band of Brothers”) and Lili Taylor (Public Enemies) as Roger and Carolyn Perron, residents of the house.
Related Story: The Conjuring News Archive
Joey King (Crazy, Stupid, Love), Shanley Caswell (Detention), Haley McFarland (TV’s “Lie to Me”), Mackenzie Foy (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), and newcomer Kyla Deaver play the Perrons’ five daughters, and Sterling Jerins (World War Z) is the Warrens’ little girl, Judy.
James Wan (Saw, Insidious) directs from a screenplay by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (The Reaping). The film is produced by Peter Safran, Tony DeRosa-Grund, and Rob Cowan with Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter serving as executive producers. Reuniting with the director are members of his Insidious creative team, director of photography John Leonetti, editor Kirk Morri, and costume designer Kristin M. Burke, and his Saw production designer, Julie Berghoff. The music is composed by Joseph Bishara.
New Line Cinema presents an Evergreen Media Group/Safran Company Production of a James Wan Film: The Conjuring. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
The film opens in the US and the UK on July 19, 2013.
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