Warren Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, wanted to drive home the reality of supernatural evil. That’s why he adapted a “true” story of possession and exorcism into his classic horror story.
Now director James Wan is attempting to do the same thing with The Conjuring.
From Real Clear Religion:
The Conjuring is truly horrifying because the Perron family is real. Ed and Lorraine Warren are real. The devil is real. God is real. And as writer Chad Hayes has said, “People should never be ignorant of demonic forces and think it can’t happen to them.”
Director James Wan spends nearly two hours trying to convince us of just that. The horrors of Harrisville, Rhode Island brought demonologist Ed Warren and his clairvoyant wife, Lorraine, to the Perron family home in 1971.
The Perron family is real. Just like the Lutz family from The Amityville Horror is real. Doesn’t change the fact that the story is fraudulent.
This is a very odd method of evangelism. I guess it’s basically the same message as a Hell House, but with better special effects. But in this era where everyone wants to tease us with “true stories” that are really based on bogus conspiracies (“Ancient Aliens”) or worn-out biological theories (“Mermaids”), I can’t imagine it will get much traction.