James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring’ given summer blockbuster release, and the director talks about ‘Insidious 2’

James Wan, director of such delights as last years Insidious and other horror classics such as Saw and Dead Silence, has just has a major boost of confidence as Warner Brothers are prepared to take a real risk with his new horror flick, The Conjuring. Slated for release in late 2013, and around the time horror films tend to fair better in cinemas, Warners have decided to move The Conjuring right into the heart of the summer Blockbuster season, July 19th. This is the date usually used for films like The Dark Knight Rises, so Wan must be feeling pretty honoured right now.

Warner Bros. has given us Chris Nolan’s slot, July 19th,” said Wan at New York Comic Con. “I’m very flattered and honoured!”

The Conjuring has had an amazing response to recent test screenings, with the haunted house flick scoring even higher than other films which would usually score way above a horror title.  The film scored in the low-90% range when averaging the number of auds who rated the film either “excellent” or “very good.” Concerning men under 25, the pic scored even higher, just below 100%.

Due to the incredible feedback based on the test screenings, Warners have decided to take a chance with The Conjuring: “I said to Toby Emmerich, ‘Let’s take a chance,’” said Warner distribution chief Dan Fellman. “Horror movies tend to get bunched together and then drop off quickly, but they don’t have to.

Great news indeed for a horror film about a haunted house, but also based on a true story. Wan spoke about The Warrens, the husband and wife team of ghost hunters who go to the house the film is based on. “They were the reason we have all these ghost hunting shows on TV,” Wan says. “These were the first people that started it, they were the original modern day ghost hunters. They pioneered the use of cameras and technology to capture evidence.”

Wan continues to describe the predicament the unfortunate family the film is based on faces:  “A lot of times this happens to families that are poor,” Wan notes. “People pour all their mortgage into these houses, you sunk everything in, but it’s a lot easier for a rich family to go, you know what? This is fucking with our family, we’re going to move out. We can just go buy another house. It’s not a big thing.”

“In our case, one of the things the Warrens pointed out is that, it doesn’t matter if you move out, if a spirit takes a liking to you, it latches itself to you, and it goes with you. And one of the stories they’ve said is about things that have followed you home.”


The film centres on a a husband and wife team (Wilson, Farmiga) of demonologists and psychic investigators who enter the most horrifying case of their career, spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse. Livingston and Taylor will play a couple who move with their kids to the farmhouse and begin to be haunted.”

“The Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 and later opened the Occult Museum. They are the authors of numerous books about the paranormal and their own private investigations into various hauntings. They claimed to have investigated over 10,000 hauntings during their career, and the Warrens were among the very first investigators in the controversial Amityville haunting.

The Warrens were responsible for training several paranormal investigating demonologists including Dave Considine, the late Lou Gentile, and their nephew John Zaffis.

This one plays scarier because it’s more grounded,” said Wan, while comparing The Conjuring to Insidious. “I tried to ground it as much as possible because the realism makes it creepier.

Wan also gave a very brief update on Insidious 2 at the NYCC, telling fans it will not be heading down the Saw route:

“It’s in the pipeline,” Wan says of “Insidious 2.” “I never worked on any of the ‘Saw’ sequels. I worked on the story of the second film, and that’s it. Here, I want to keep more of the ownership of it, I don’t want to give it away so easily. So I’m definitely overseeing it more, and [‘Saw’ writer]Leigh [Whannel]’s writing it, so we’ll see if it’s something I want to direct or not.”

About Matt Wavish 10001 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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