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WonderCon 2013: James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring’ Panel
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At WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim, CA, the panel for The Conjuring kicked off with a clip featuring Lili Taylor as a mom playing blindfolded hide and seek with her daughter, trying to find her just by listening to her claps, when she hears claps coming from something in the wardrobe that only the audience realizes isn’t her daughter. Later that evening, she hears the phantom claps again and she goes to investigate. The claps lead her down to her cellar. As she’s walking downstairs, the cellar door slams behind her and the lightbulb breaks, leaving her in darkness. As she turns on her flashlight, we see hands behind her in the darkness, issuing an ominous CLAP CLAP!

Director James Wan explained that the film is based on the true story of the haunting of the Perron sisters as documented by Lorraine Warren, a real-life paranormal investigator. Both Ms. Warren and sisters Cindy and Andrea Perron were on the panel.

Wan was asked what the process was for developing a film based on fact. He said he’s been a fan of stories like this, but never came across the story of the Perrons. He was compelled by a sense of wanting to honor their experience. Andrea Perron was asked how it felt to see her story on screen. She was astounded by the accuracy of what was portrayed on screen, and particularly the family bonds between her and her sister, and she praised the director. He said that was the main reason he wanted to make this film — to do it justice. What he loved about this story was the bond of family unity.

Lorraine Warren said Wan’s film was very faithful to the events.

Wan said one of the challenges he enjoyed taking on was the fact that because the story was set in a pre-digital communications era, he had to take an old-school approach: no cellphones, no modern conveniences. It was extremely liberating to him. The movie isn’t terribly explicit, it’s all about mood and character, yet it surprisingly received an ‘R’ rating despite the lack of gore. When asked about the rating, or if anything specific could be edited out to lower it, the rating panel said there was nothing explicit, it was just overall “too scary.”

The Conjuring panel was moderated by Drew McWeeny from HitFix.com.

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