From Collider, an interview with the screenwriters of the horror movie The Conjuring which is debuting in theaters in North America this weekend. Excerpt:
Doing a project based on real characters, when you started was the current angle always the focal point?
CHAD: We switched it off, the – Peter Safran, through a management company, sent us a treatment for a story that was about the Perrons. And it was scary, but Carey and I were like: “We’ve sort of seen it.” The Warrens were mentioned, but just sort of as investigators, and we were familiar with them, and we went: “I wonder if we can switch the POV of this movie.” Because what scares the investigators is really interesting.
CAREY: And plus they’re stepping into act three of their lives, so there’s already been all of that-
CHAD: So we went back and said: If you can get the Warren’s rights, we’d be really interested in doing this movie, and they did. That was great. It felt very franchisable to us as well, you know they’ve done so many case files and – If you think about the Warrens, and this takes place in 1971 or two, these guys are at the top of their game. There weren’t any people you could go to to do all this, and this is right at the height, when The Exorcist came out, which was super reticent because people were, like, “Whoa, the church does that kind of thing?” It just all felt very compelling and a lot more interesting than “family buys the wrong house, drives up and it begins.” And we got a chance to tell family POVs, this is really about three families: the witch family, the Perrons and the Warrens, and this collision course they’re on.
CAREY: And, of course, the other families that lived there. They were affected. The original farm was on, either 300 or 500 acres and when Bathsheba killed herself, she literally hung herself, but prior to that she proclaimed her love for Satan and cursed anyone who would try to take her land, and then, over that course of time from the late 1800s to the present there has been a phenomenal amount of deaths on what was once that 500 acres.
CHAD: Really unusual deaths, like you’d have a better chance winning the lottery than you would…
CAREY: In this film-
What are some of them?
CHAD: You’ll see it in the movie, we put them in there. Drownings, suicides, hunting accidents. Car-
CAREY: Car accidents, people lost in the winter-time.
CHAD: Really odd. Very odd in such a small, small area. I guess the other thing that really drew us, which changed it over is that it’s a true story. To be able to look these people up, I mean, we met the Perron girls, these girls came to set. And you still see the scare in her eyes.
CAREY: Which one…? We have the scene where…Cindy. The witch was actually hanging from a tree and we’re ready to shoot it and Cindy looks and freaks out and just turns the other way.
CHAD: It brought back too much. And one of ‘em said: “Something really bad is going to happen out here today” and I was like: “Oh, great.” And do you know what happened? Her mother, Carolyn, fell and broke her hip.
CAREY: She wasn’t there, she was the only one not there, but they all had to leave, it was pretty nutty.
The movie’s trailer:
For more of the interview, go here.