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Immersed in Movies: James Wan and Vera Farmiga Talk '70s-Set Paranormal Frightener 'The Conjuring'; Sequel in Works (VIDEO)

Photo of Bill Desowitz By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood July 16, 2013 at 1:59PM

"The Conjuring" proves that you don't have to indulge in torture porn to be scary. In fact, the well-crafted throwback is a family drama driven by horror. It's a true life story from 1971 about a family tormented by spirits in its secluded Rhode Island farmhouse, and how renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) came to their rescue.
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Vera Farmiga in "The Conjuring"
Vera Farmiga in "The Conjuring"

And not wanting to be labeled a horror director, Wan will now approach "Fast & Furious 7" as a family-centric heist movie. "I got this gig because I didn't talk about cars, I didn't talk about action, I talked about the character arcs and the family unit."

As for Farmiga, she approached "The Conjuring" as a love story between Ed and Lorraine, as well as "a story about compassion, giving and receiving it in those desperate times of need. And the strong maternal theme about mothers protecting their daughters. Thematically, if you look at my choices, there is some exploration of maternal angst and maternal heroism."

Farmiga just wanted to absorb Lorraine's "mad style: the way she communicates with her hands and how she moves through space." She insisted on wearing her style of funky clothes that she calls "punk," and likes having a real life model to mesh with her own personality.

It looks like "The Conjuring," which was pushed back from a January release to this Friday because of positive test screenings, will be a franchise for Farmiga, who is signed for a sequel.  

This article is related to: The Conjuring, James Wan, Vera Farmiga, Immersed In Movies


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.