The horror hit The Conjuring has summoned up unwanted attention for the Rhode Island couple who own the farmhouse that inspired the movie, according to a lawsuit blaming Warner Bros. for inciting a parade of overzealous fans to their home.
According to court documents obtained by EW, Norma Sutcliffe and Gerald Helfrich of Harrisville, R.I., are seeking to hold the studio and filmmakers responsible for a “Conjuring-instigated siege of their property.”
Since the release of the film in July 2013, the couple have dealt with “threats of physical violence and harm, sleepless nights, and worry that one day, one of the many trespassers will commit an act of destruction, violence, or harm,” the suit alleges.
Directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, The Conjuring was marketed as being based on the true story of ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, who investigated strange goings-on at the house of Roger and Carolyn Perron in the 1970s.
Sutcliffe and Helfrich bought the house in 1987 and lived there “in peace” until 2013, the lawsuit says. The complaint also says Warner Bros. made and released the film without notifying them.
The Conjuring became a surprise hit, grossing $137 million in North America on a modest $20 million budget.
In addition to Warner Bros. and Wan, the suit names as defendants New Line Productions, the Safran Co., Evergreen Media Holdings, producer Tony DeRosa-Grund, five individual trespassers, and John and Jane Does 1-500. Sutcliffe and Helfrich are seeking unspecified damages.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. declined to comment on the lawsuit.