The Conjuring, a prospective cinematic scarefest etched in the same vein as The Amityville Horror, made the panel rounds at the IGN Theater on Saturday during this year’s New York Comic-Con.
The story, which is based on true events, focuses on a duo of paranormal investigators set to give aid to a family terrorized by a dark, ominous presence in a farmhouse squarely planted miles from anyone else. The investigators, held in the threshold of the demonic energy manifesting itself in the farmhouse, which turns out to be a witch, find themselves in the thick of what is sure to be one of the most challenging and difficult cases they have ever had to endure.
Moderated by the always hilarious and gregarious Chris Hardwick and sporting a shirt with an embroidered NASA logo (!), the panel consisted of director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) – who explained about the film’s narrative – and stars Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, and Patrick Wilson.
An exclusive trailer was then shown, in which the film, set in 1971, sported amazing art design, perfectly rendered drab colors which heightened the tension, almost in the style of the campy Tim Burton film Dark Shadows, which was also set in the same era, but had much more visual style. Another clip was shown, in which a game of Hide and Go Seek potentially goes awry and the lone breathtaking sequences of Lili Taylor wandering around the house alone, wondering where the freaky sounds and handclaps were coming from. Without question, the confident and almost asphyxiating direction by Wan in the clip literally had the large crowd on the edge of their seats and screaming in fear, shouting out warnings to the characters.
Q&A got into a little more depth on the film, in which the actors were asked if doing horror films is as scary as watching them, in which Livingston quipped that he had been on scarier film sets before, but that was only because he was worried that the film would be no good. The movie has a few child actors in it, so one of the questions was about how the children on set handle the frightening subject matter, but Wan said that kids didn’t think anything of it, and rattle off their recent film credits, including those for Mackenzie Foy, the actress who plays the daughter of neck biters Edward and Bella Cullen in the Twilight film series.
Taylor spoke of the old school approach by James Wan, eschewing the special effects in favor of practical ones. Wan answered questions bluntly and with a tongue firmly in his cheek, mentioning how he wanted to do the film first and foremost as an homage to the old school horror flicks of the 1970s and that doing these films ultimately were a form of therapy for him.
Unexpectedly petrifying stuff for what looks destined to rock audiences with sundry shrieks and screams when The Conjuring hits theaters in Summer 2013.
Additional contribution by Empress Eve; Photos by Dave3.