The Conjuring Movie Review – Not since the original Exorcist (1973) has a movie stricken so much fear to moviegoers as a ‘This could really happen’ kind of film”. Many have tried and failed, most of them miserably; but there’s always someone willing to take that chance. In this case, James Wan.
James Wan is by far one of the best Horror film directors in the past 10 years or so. His take on what an audience should experience while watching a film is remarkable. These experiences can be witnessed in Wan’s prior films such as Saw (Original), Dead Silence and Insidious just to name a few. If you’ve seen any of these then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The ability to send chills down your spine is a form of art and James Wan is a master at it. Now, with ‘The Conjuring’ under his belt and the last horror movie of the summer, will it live up to everyone’s expectations?
Before I dive into details, let me tell you a bit about the film:
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on the true life story, “The Conjuring” tells the tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse.
Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.
So the questions still remains, will ‘The Conjuring’ live up to everyone’s expectations? I guess it all depends on your definition of Horror. There’s no question that The Conjuring is full of suspense. Most of you will be squinting your eyes, looking through you fingers and giving out loud screams while watching the film but a few of you (like me) will say that the movie was good but not great.
I don’t want to take anything away from the film, as a horror fan and movie critic, my expectations are a lot higher than the normal horror fan/moviegoer. That begin said, I really enjoyed this film.
We are introduced to Ed and Lorraine Warren with a little ghost story at the beginning of the film. This puts the audience in a very uneasy state of mind, playing with the idea of a possessed doll (a very creepy one at that). After that the Warrens explain all about the paranormal through seminars around the country. Unaware, this is how we, the audience, learn about the film without boring character development and drown out explanation. I told you James Wan is a master. Now that the mood is set, we meet the unfortunate family who we all know will experience the hell that is about to take place.
Like many horror films before it, The Conjuring makes use of the idea that it’s based on a true story. The story of the Perron family who bought a place in the early ’70s in Harrisville, Rhode Island eventually became the backbone for the film. The original was written by Andrea Perron and told over the course of two volumes (find both volumes here). According to the film’s credits, some of the names were changed in the film. No more than a few minutes into the film, we started experiencing the paranormal. From the family dog ‘Sadie’ who seems to have an uncanny sense for danger to the younger daughter’s imaginary friend, now add a game of clapping ‘hide and seek’ with unexpected twist and you have the perfect storm that would send an ordinary family running for the hills.
What James Wan and his crew have done here is take everything that works well in modern horror movies (Mama, Paranormal Activity, etc.) incorporated in one film to give us a truly terrifying experience. It is not the amount but the timely scares that makes The Conjuring’ a good movie for everyone to watch.
We are all getting tired of people getting dragged around or doors slamming shut just to provide cheap scares to an audience. Even though some of those cliches are present here, they are done in a matter that seems to work with the overall feel of the film.
All of the actors and actresses did an amazing job here, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are the reason this movie will do good in the box office. The fact that their characters are based on a real couple doing paranormal investigations, gives the film a sense of realism.
After all is said and done, The Conjuring will suffice the horror fan but will scare the crap out of the non-horror fans. 3:07am seems to be a theme in the film so I will post this review then. Also if you happen to see Billy the puppet from ‘Saw’ in the film, please let me know. James Wan likes to hide him in his movies but I couldn’t find it here.