James Wan

I’m not a huge horror film guy, but I probably see more than your average film geek. I’ll be the first to admit that I had little interest in The Conjuring as I usually don’t like possession stories. The idea of someone becoming possessed by someone else has always been a movie storyline pet peeve for me, likely tainted for me by comic book storylines I read as a kid where the superhero somehow becomes controlled by the bad guy. While I was in San Francisco covering the Pacific Rim junket, I was presented with the opportunity to talk to director James Wan. I’ve been a fan of Wan since seeing the first Saw film at Sundance in 2004. That interview is why I ended up seeing The Conjuring in San Francisco and… I’m very glad I did.

The Conjuring is creepy as hell, a well made horror film — a throwback in many ways to the horror films of my childhood. Wan is a master of his craft, and I’m excited to see what he’ll be able to do once Hollywood lets him play in other genres (I really enjoyed his 2007 thriller Death Sentence which was virtually unseen in theaters).

After the jump you can read my interview with James Wan. We talk about The Conturing‘s connection to AMITYVILLE, the importance of the period setting of the film, the struggle with creating a horrific story while trying to stay true to the true story, the Perron family’s reaction to the movie, delving into some of the filmmaking techniques employed in this film including the sound and an early tracking shot, and I tried to get him to talk about his upcoming gig directing Fast & Furious 7.

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Conjuring Vera Farmiga

New horror films often seem like a great way to beget a new franchise — there’s a rich tradition of horror film series, after all, and any company releasing horror into movie theaters is easily tempted by the sweet smell of franchise money.

And so The Conjuring, which has been the benificiary of rave reviews since debuting at the LA Film Festival and going into many preview and word of mouth screenings, is already looking locked for a sequel and possible franchise. James Wan‘s film doesn’t even open until Friday, so that’s a big vote of confidence in the movie.

Indeed, while I seemed to like The Conjuring less than many other viewers, the scares and hauntings within are very well done, and there’s rich potential for more stories in a similar mold. That’s because the movie is based on a case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who are perhaps best known for going on to chronicle the Amityville Horror. Read More »

The Conjuring

There’s a great bit of stage banter from Tom Waits where he jokes about someone leaning over during a movie to insist “you know, this is based on a true story.” The question from Waits is: does that really make the film any better?

I’ve seen James Wan‘s new film, The Conjuring, and despite the fact that the film begins with a card that says it is based on a true story, I assumed it was one of those Texas Chainsaw Massacre things — a gentle little lie to give the story a bit of weight. Then I remembered that, in fact, this is based on something from reality. The Conjuring brings to the screen a story from the archives of the same husband and wife team that later investigated a famous house in Amityville, New York.

There’s a healthy collection of really well-done haunting scenes in the film, and while it’s probably better to just watch it as a movie, this new trailer gives the real-life family a chance to speak for the first time. If you’ll find a horror film more frightening knowing that it is based in reality, then this is definitely the trailer for you. Read More »

2013 Summer Movie Preview

Trailers! Who has time to watch them all? There are something like forty wide releases due out this summer alone. If you assume each trailer runs about two minutes, that’s about an hour and half of your life you’ll never get back. That’s time you could’ve spent actually watching one of these movies.

If you only watch one trailer this spring, then, you’ll want to make it this one. This three-minute supercut teases most of the season’s biggest releases, from Iron Man 3 to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It’s surprisingly coherent, which may suggest that these titles aren’t as different as the filmmakers would like us to think. Or maybe it just proves that with the right music and some skillful editing, you can totally change the meaning of any scene. In any case, watch it after the jump.

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Conjuring Vera Farmiga

Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious and now The Conjuring. It would be very easy to assume the latest horror film from director James Wan to be another in a long string of scary films right in the director’s wheelhouse. However as this new trailer shows, and as Wan said at WonderCon this past weekend, he doesn’t feel he has anything more to prove in the genre. He was drawn to The Conjuring because its basis in fact, period setting and family dynamic gave him a whole new creative jolt.

The Conjuring, out July 19, stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as real life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. Best known for their work on what would become known as “The Amityville Horror,” this story of small-town family haunted by spirits is supposedly so terrifying, the Warrens preferred not to talk about it. The film follows suit, gaining an R-rating without any language or graphic violence. At WonderCon, producers said the MPAA just deemed it “too scary” to give a PG-13.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Horror director James Wan and his Insidious star Patrick Wilson are currently hard at work on Insidious Chapter 2, but first we’ll see them tangling with some other spirits in The Conjuring.

The fact-based haunted house tale follows a family (led by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) who move into an old but charming New England farmhouse. When it becomes clear that a dark entity is stalking them, they call upon paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Vera Farmiga) for help. Watch the terrifying first trailer after the jump.

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Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor are in talks to join Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in James Wan‘s upcoming thriller, formerly called The Conjuring. The film, which is now going by the working title Untitled Warren Files Project, centers around a husband and wife paranormal investigation team (Wilson and Farmiga) dealing with spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse. Livingston and Taylor would play a couple that moves into the farmhouse with their children, and are terrorized by the supernatural beings who reside there. The story is inspired by the real-life tale of the Perron family and paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren in the 1970s.

Livingston will next appear in HBO Films’ Game Change, which premieres March 10, and this summer’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Taylor co-stars in Paul Weitz’s Being Flynn, which opens March 2. The Conjuring is scheduled to enter production in North Carolina in March. [THR]

After the jump, Stephen Dorff goes down in ’80s Beirut, while Mark Webber and Chloë Sevigny get hitched.

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Patrick Wilson could be reuniting with his Insidious director James Wan for The Conjuring, as he and Vera Farmiga enter final talks to star in the new supernatural thriller. Written by Chad and Carey Hayes, the script centers around a married couple (Wilson and Farmiga) investigating spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse, in what turns out to be the most terrifying case of their demonology careers. The plot is inspired by the true-life tale of the Perron family in the 1970s, as chronicled by daughter Andrea Perron in her memoir House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story.

Wilson currently stars on the big screen in Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, and on the small screen in CBS’ A Gifted Man. He’ll next appear in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, due out this summer. Vera Farmiga will star in next month’s Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Production on The Conjuring is scheduled to enter production in North Carolina in March. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, a Twilight actress explores the underground dubstep scene.

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