The Conjuring: Love story or horror film?

((L-r) VERA FARMIGA as Lorraine Warren and PATRICK WILSON)

Over the course of the last eight years, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have portrayed Ed and Lorraine Warren on screen in three other Conjuring Universe titles: The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle Comes Home.

During that time, the genuine affection that the two actors have for each other has continued to grow, and it clearly shows in their characters on screen. Like any fine wine or pair of good leather boots, a great marriage only gets better with age, and just as the real Ed and Lorraine Warren’s love for each other grew ever stronger over time, so has the friendship between Wilson and Farmiga.

“The characters of Ed and Lorraine are beloved. People love Patrick and Vera playing them. They love this cinematic interpretation of the real-life couple,” says producer and Conjuring 1 and 2 director, James Wan (Aquaman)

“It’s amazing growing older with my fake spouse,” Farmiga laughs. “At the risk of sounding corny, my love for old Patrick Wilson continues to run feverish. I adore him. We are such good friends. We mitigate the dark, emotional work that we do by laughing our heads off together. He makes me all kinds of giggly.”

“We’ve trusted each other since day one,” Wilson discloses, “that’s where the chemistry comes from. We’re totally comfortable with each other and we have a lot of fun.” Watch the clip below:

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From a storytelling perspective, the filmmakers have always gone to great lengths to make sure the characters of Ed and Lorraine are in touch with their humanity. In the ten years that have passed in the storyline from The Conjuring to The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Ed and Lorraine are as fierce and unwavering as ever, but they are also more vulnerable to
illness and injury. Their love has deepened and so has their concern for each other’s well-being, which is tender and relatable.

Caption: (L-r) VERA FARMIGA as Lorraine Warren, PATRICK WILSON as Ed Warren and KEITH ARTHUR BOLDEN as Sgt. Clay in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

“It all comes down to that relationship between Ed and Lorraine,” explains producer Peter Safran. “One of the great accolades we received early on was from the real Lorraine Warren, who felt we had beautifully captured what existed between her and Ed. We’ve always kept that in mind as we develop these stories. We would want Ed and Lorraine to be proud of what we’re doing.”

(L-r) PATRICK WILSON, director MICHAEL CHAVES and VERA FARMIGA on the set of New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

“The heart of this franchise is Ed and Lorraine’s connection and love,” adds Farmiga, “that’s what makes it stand apart from other horror films. It’s the love story.”

Fans of Ed and Lorraine are in for a special treat this time around, too, as we get a brief glimpse into their distant past. For the first time, we see the pair as teenagers in love, at the beginning of their relationship. It’s a moving moment atypical of the average horror film.

It has nothing to do with evil, just a simple, beautiful story that grounds not only the movie and these characters but the Conjuring Universe as a whole. In no uncertain terms, it lays bare what is at stake at the center of all the maelstrom. The feeling of warmth, love, and light that began with the real Ed and Lorraine and continues to live in Wilson and Farmiga’s portrayal of them, extends as well into the fullness of the production team that brings these stories to life.

Working in the Conjuring Universe is a family affair. Many of the crew, including makeup, costumes, production design, stunts, musical scoring, unit publicity, prop making, cinematography, assistant directors, and set decoration, as well as actors, continue to come back to work in this world film after film. It makes for an easy shorthand, and it’s a resounding testament to the kind of environment that Wan has sought to nurture over the years.

“I want to have a great time making movies even though they can be very stressful,” director James Wan says. “I want it to be as pleasant as possible of an experience for everyone involved. Making movies is arduous, but it should also be fun.”