After several failed movie attempts, The Conjuring was able to popularize Ed and Lorraine Warren’s supernatural investigations – here’s how.
In the paranormal community, Ed and Lorraine Warren are two of the most well-known duos to have ever tackled the horrors of the great beyond, but their stories didn’t achieve major cinematic success until The Conjuring. While they have countless stories about ghosts, demons, poltergeists, and casual hauntings, only their most significant cases have been adapted into movies. The Conjuring wasn’t the first movie to take on the Warren’s stories. In fact, the first adaptation was 1979’s The Amityville Horror. Despite their prominence in the supernatural sub-genre, The Conjuring popularized Ed and Lorraine Warren; here’s how it was able to achieve such a feat.
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Ed Warren was a self-proclaimed demonologist and Lorraine Warren was a clairvoyant as well as a medium. The couple encountered several horrifying instances of the supernatural in real life. While their written stories are noteworthy in the paranormal researchers community, they are also highly contested as being highly dramatized and even falsified to a major degree. The Amityville case is regarded as their biggest and most dangerous encounter with the great beyond. As a result, it was adapted in 1979 into a surprisingly unsuccessful movie that created a franchise with each more installment more disappointing than the last. In 1991, the Smurl haunting was adapted into a made-for-television movie titled The Haunted. This case in particular featured horrifying tales of demonic sexual assault against members of the Smurl family who lived in Pennsylvania. The last adaptation before the release of The Conjuring was The Haunting In Connecticut.
The Haunting In Connecticut released in 2009 and is roughly based on the Snedeker case that the Warrens investigated in 1986. After leaving the Amityville house, they went directly to the Snedeker home where the family reported that their cancer sick son was writing about necrophilia and the property’s history as a funeral home left countless negative spirits. While the majority of their cases are heavily debated, the Snedeker case has reportedly been manipulated by Ed and Lorraine, who hired an author to dramatize the stories that the family reported. None of these movies took off, likely based on the fact that they did not blatantly tie themselves to the Warrens and focused primarily on the hauntings themselves. When The Conjuring released in 2013, their popularity skyrocketed and everything changed for their cinematic horrors.
In The Conjuring universe, Ed and Lorraine Warren are central to its plot. Without them, most, if not all, of the movies could not take place. Rather than focusing on the hauntings themselves, The Conjuring movies take on the task of depicting the reactions of the demonologist and clairvoyant duo as they attempt to save the lives of families across the globe. James Wan’s 2013 movie begins by establishing the Perron family of Rhode Island, who seek out the assistance of the well-known paranormal investigators. As soon as they become involved, the family isn’t necessarily at the forefront. It is entirely about how the Warrens can save them, just like The Conjuring 2.
While their names are recognizable in paranormal circles, they were not mainstream until they were plastered on big screens across the world with The Conjuring. At that point, their museum got a spike in visitors and the objects inside of it were even given their own movies, such as the Annabelle series. Initially, their cases in the movie universe were somewhat detached from impacting their personal lives and their home, but as it has progressed, they have permeated their day to day lives. When Valak was introduced and Judy Warren was targeted by demons, it made the Warren family the center of attention rather than their cases.
Ultimately, The Conjuring series popularized Ed and Lorraine Warren as well as their cases by focusing on the hauntings as the duo are in the midst of resolving the paranormal conflict. Other case adaptations have taken inspiration from the reports of the families and the Warrens in order to speculate on what happened prior to the entities leaving. Ed and Lorraine Warren are not central to these movies either, which creates a detachment from the real world and people that these spirits impacted. While the movies that released prior to The Conjuring have garnered the attention of paranormal horror fans everywhere, it wasn’t until the first installment in the cinematic universe released that Ed and Lorraine Warren were popularized by being central characters in their own cases.
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