Farmiga fights demons in 'The Conjuring,' finds home in horror

Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:08pm EDT
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Vera Farmiga is now a full-fledged expert in the horror genre, but for the lead role in the film "The Conjuring" she had to study hard to see the enigmatic inner workings of a clairvoyant.

"The Conjuring," based on the true story of a paranormal investigation by demonologist and clairvoyant couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, follows a family tormented by supernatural phenomenon in their home, leading to the mother's possession by a demonic entity.

The Warrens, best known for their involvement in the "Amityville Horror" case in which a New York couple said their house was haunted by a demonic presence, are portrayed in "The Conjuring" by Patrick Wilson and Farmiga, who worked with Lorraine Warren for the making of the film.

"The most imperative thing for me was how to convey her clairvoyance and it had to do with how she perceives things, how she takes things in. What touched me about her was her incredible empathy for others, and her dedication to help others," Farmiga said.

Warner Bros' "The Conjuring" comes on the heels of a new influx of supernatural horror films waved in by the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, low-budget films that drum up big scares and revenue at the box office.

The four "Paranormal" films have earned more than $700 million at the worldwide box office since 2007 for Viacom's movie studio Paramount Pictures.

Writers Chad and Carey Hayes, who adapted the events of the Perron family's Harrisville home into a screenplay, said "The Conjuring" offered something different to the mix, telling the story from the perspectives of the investigators rather than the family suffering the events.

"There are many haunting stories where the minivan pulls up to an old house and a family goes in and eventually they end up calling the police or the professionals. We wanted to see what rocks the professionals," the Hayes brothers told reporters.   Continued...

 
Cast member Vera Farmiga attends the premiere of "The Conjuring" at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni