Insidious II’s Patrick Wilson Discusses NJ

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Patrick Wilson stars in both Insidious films as well as The Conjuring, and I enjoyed his performance in all of them. For some reason feedback on his performances seem to be mixed and I can’t seem to understand why. To me, he comes off as a very regular, likable guy and in terms of horror films that’s necessary in order for the audience to relate to characters. Plus, he lives in New Jersey so don’t knock him!

November 2009’s Garden State Playmate, Chelsea Handler, had Patrick Wilson on the show recently to promote The Conjuring and they had a funny conversation about him taking up residence in New Jersey.

CHELSEA: “I heard that you moved voluntarily to the state of New Jersey…”
CHELSEA HANDLER: “I’m from New Jersey and people don’t move there, they move out!”

Chelsea asked Wilson why he would you do such a thing and he went on to explain that he basically wanted a backyard. He had a tough time selling his wife on the idea though, since she’s a New Yorker, and she didn’t even want to step foot in Jersey, but eventually, they found a place that they both liked and he really “digs” living here. As if starring in WatchmenThe  Conjuring, AND the Insidious films wasn’t enough, Patrick Wilson’s words about The Garden State boosted his position on the cool list even more.

Conjuring Up Some Jersey Connections

Usually I wait for the crowds to die down before seeing a brand new movie while it’s in the theater. Ever since Insidious and Sinister boosted my confidence in the horror genre, The Conjuring trailer had me wanting to see the movie right away. I was anxiously waiting to see it, but I held off until the second weekend to avoid crowds. On purpose, as I usually do, I chose an odd time to see the film, thinking I would avoid obnoxious people. Turns out that my strategic planning didn’t make a difference, but it didn’t matter because the experience I had watching the film overwhelmingly outweighed the annoying people who surrounded me.

Judging by both box office receipts and reviews, I can tell you that The Conjuring is a superior horror film and it’s success is no fluke. It seems like behind every success story is some type of New Jersey connection. The Conjuring made me feel like I was part of the Perron family as they moved into an old, possibly haunted farmhouse in Rhode Island. Eventually the audience is just as mortified as the Perrons are, but they shouldn’t be shocked at what they see since they moved there from New Jersey – a minuscule bit of trivia that is only mentioned nonchalantly by Roger Perron, the man of the house, in all his ’70s glory, played perfectly by Ron Livingston (Office Space). Roger’s wife, Carolyn (Lili Taylor), enlists Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real life couple of paranormal investigators who also teach classes on demonology.

March 2013’s Garden State Playmate, and now well known for her incredible performance as Norma Bates on Bates Motel, the lovely Vera Farmiga, plays Lorraine Warren while Patrick Wilson, star of Watchmen, and Montclair, NJ resident, plays her husband Ed. Together they visit houses that may be haunted and try to get to the source of the issue by postulating realistic reasons for what caused their “bump in the night.” That isn’t all they do for the Perron family though. You’ll have to go see that for yourself.

The Conjuring is a throwback. It’s the type of creepy film that they just don’t seem to make anymore, and damn it was just plain fun. Director James Wan and his team mixed classic movie thrills with practical effects to create an extremely tense and scary atmosphere. Wilson and Farmiga carry the film, but Taylor, Livingston, as well as the actresses who played Perron’s daughters all give outstanding performances.