Vera Farmiga loved screening screams

Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga says hearing men screaming with terror while watching her new movie was “a riot”.

The actress portrays Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring, which is the true story of two paranormal investigators who were called to help a family in Amityville, New York, in the ’70s.

It has been praised as a truly scary horror film by critics and Vera enjoyed seeing the effect it had on people during a recent screening.

“To me the masculine screams were a riot,” she told British newspaper The Guardian. “They were just unabashed. Usually there’s a self-awareness to male laughter, an apologetic giddiness, but not here. That was a different kind of screaming – unprompted, like the sounds were being ripped out of them. And I’d seen the movie before, so I knew when to look at the audience instead of the screen. Just every time – ‘Aaaarrgghh!’”

Vera addressed the subject of religion in her directorial debut Higher Ground, which followed a woman who struggled with her beliefs.

The 39-year-old star’s family are from Ukraine and she was raised as Catholic until she was nine, when her parents converted to Pentecostalism. Vera is unsure of her beliefs at the moment, although starring in films such as The Conjuring make her consider the afterlife.

The actress and her co-star Patrick Wilson, who plays the Lorraine’s husband Ed, went to visit the people their characters were based on. It was a fascinating experience, although both stars decided against visiting the “museum of the occult that they maintain in the basement”.

“I’m both, I guess,” she replied, when asked if she is a believer or sceptic. “I’ve never had any formative experiences with the diabolical, but I guess theoretically I’m open to persuasion hook, line and sinker that there might be some whole other dimension. I’m still determining all that as I go along. But I love movies that challenge one in a spiritual way. Not preach, but challenge.”

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