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The Conjuring (2013)

  Tags: based on real life, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, demonic, Evergreen Media, ghosts, haunting, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Foy, New Line Cinema, Patrick Wilson, Possession, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Summit Entertainment, The Safran Company, Vera Farmiga

Your rating: None Average: 7.9 (19 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

theconjuringposter1.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
James Wan
Runtime: 
112 minutes
Cast: 
Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Foy, Joey King, Hayley McFarland, Shanley Caswell


Director James Wan has certainly made a name for himself within the genre after bursting onto the scene with Saw and only added to his success with Insidious years later, which I liked but wasn't too fond of the climax or main villain. The Conjuring marks the return of Insidious star Patrick Wilson, who stars as Ed Warren, alongside Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren--both of which are based on real life paranormal investigators. The film is supposedly inspired by one of their more infamous cases, which in the movie is about a family haunted by several evil spirits (primarily that of a witch) after moving into a new/old home.

What I liked most about Insidious was its limited use of music and its reliance on dark scenes and loud sounds, especially during certain sequences. We get more of that with The Conjuring along with an abundance of genuinely creepy scenes. Combined with the look and the period it took place and it felt like an old-school haunted house flick, as opposed to most films nowadays relying on jump scares or found footage BS. The film's simplicity and approach towards a lot of these scenes are why they work so well and effectively give the viewer the chills or a little unexpected jolt every now and again.

Opposed to just focusing on the Perrons and their haunting, the movie also brilliantly goes back and forth from the family and the Warrens, which essentially makes them just as much leads as the family themselves. Normally investigators in these types of films are just supporting characters or simply tools to progress the story, but in this case their key characters that we grow to care about just as much as the family. 

There's a sub-plot involving a really creepy doll that I found refreshing, as it seemed like we had two interesting hauntings happening simultaneously at times, so it always felt like there was something going on to keep us watching.  Positive aside, there were some scares that could've worked better had they been done differently and I felt that the movie's climax was a bit rushed compared to the rest of the flick, especially during the exorcism sequence.

With the Warrens being strong characters and more than one story going on, it's clear that the filmmakers could dish out more than one sequel, which is actually the studio's plan, considering a sequel is already in development. As long as they keep with the tone and simplicity, I'm definitely down for exploring more of these Warren cases in upcoming films.

The Conjuring is definitely one of the better supernatural films I've seen in a while and proves to be a breath of fresh air in this modern age of cheesy jump-scares and found footage BS. If you want something different and genuinely creepy then given this a look.

Posted on September 10, 2013 - 3:34pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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