Warner Bros. opened their WonderCon panel today with an early look at James Wan’s The Conjuring, which stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Haley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver and Sterling Jerins.
Two scenes launched the panel. In the first, Lili Taylor’s Carolyn Perron is playing hide-and-seek with her daughters, Christine (Joey King) and Nancy (Mackenzie Foy). The mother is blindfolded, but she’s allowed to ask for three different claps from the girls to track them down.
Carolyn laughs as she steps into a bedroom with a wardrobe in the corner. She asks for a clap and hears something coming from the wardrobe. She moves towards it and we can see something moving behind the clothes inside. She thinks she’s found one of her daughters, but she suddenly hears laughter coming from another room. She pulls off the blindfold and realizes that nothing is there.
Later that night, Carolyn hears clapping downstairs. She shouts to her girls that it’s past their bedtime but, when she steps into their room, both are asleep. She’s confused but, before she can even think, the whole house erupts in a loud, droning shake. Pictures fall off the walls and Carolyn runs downstairs. Everything seems to have settled, but the mom is shaking. A grandfather clock strikes 3am. Then a clap comes from the darkness. It’s the basement and someone is down there.
Carolyn moves to the door, shouting that she’s about to lock it, thinking she’ll scare someone pulling a trick on her but, before she can, the door slams shut and the lightbulb bursts. There’s total darkness. Carolyn lights a match, shaking. From behind her head, we see a pair of hands move out of the darkness. They clap.
In the next scene, we see both girls in bed, asleep. An invisible force tugs at the blanket at Christine’s feet. She thinks it’s her sister and tells her to go back to bed. Suddenly something just yanks at her legs and she’s startled awake.
Christine is horrified, but she sits up in bed and reluctantly decides to peek underneath her bed. There’s nothing, but she’s able to see the door through the opposite side. It’s slowly closing.
Christine, in tears, wakes up Nancy and tells her that someone is hiding behind the door. Nancy says there’s nothing and gets out of bed to prove it.
“It’s looking right at us,” Christine cries. “…It’s standing right behind you!”
The door slams shut and the room goes dark.
Wan was joined on stage by real-life paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren and Cindy and Andrea Perron, the family whose experiences the film is based. Wan actually stressed that one of his goals with the production was to make the events as close to the real story as possible and suggested that very has been changed in bringing the alleged haunting to the big screen.
“When you have infestation in a home like that house,” Warren said, “[with a] terrified children and a terrified mother… It was awful. Just awful.”
Although a PG-13 was initially targeted, the MPAA ultimately gave The Conjuring an R and their official reason for doing so was apparently that it was, “just too scary.”
Fans can decide for themselves whether or not that’s the case when The Conjuring hits theaters July 19.