Review: The Conjuring
- Starring: Patrick Wilson (Insidious), Vera Farmiga (Orphan), Lili Taylor (The Haunting) and more.
- Directed by: James Wan (Saw)
- Synopsis: “Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story, “The Conjuring” tells the horrifying 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 terrifying case of their lives.”
- Rating: Rated R for intense and frightening sequences, terror, violence and mild language.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Another horror movie that is “based on a true story” has entered theaters drawing tons of scare-seekers and scream-shriekers to screens around the world. Horror director James Wan (Saw, Insidious, and the upcoming Fast & Furious 7) directs The Conjuring and delivers a well-told tale with enough fright, terror and intensity to warrant both its R-rating and its placement as #1 in the box office last weekend.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as the Hollywood representations of real-life paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren who, in the 1970’s, encountered the worst of all paranormal experiences in their career in a rural Rhode Island house. These “ghosthunters,” “demonologists,” “spirit-talkers,” etc., work together in this summer scare to stop the evil that haunts an unsuspecting victimized family. Seemingly taken from the script pages of the FX television show “American Horror Story,” The Conjuring is full of creepy scary moments and entertains without giving in to the temptation of the gimmicky “shock and scare” moments that litter so many horror films nowadays.
James Wan very craftily takes all of the elements of so many heart-pounding horror films (minus gratuitous gore, sex and language) and puts them together to share this “true” tale that occurred prior to the horror in Amittyville. The oftimes “found footage” look and feel of this horror film transports the viewer directly into the year 1975 to experience the curiosity, horror and history of the events surrounding the haunted house and all of its inhabitants (both living and non-living).
Both consistently and impressively, The Conjuring maintains its level of intrigue along with its level of “reality” all the way through to its ending (a rarity in horror flicks). The cast, their acting and reactions, keeps the audience keyed in to not only the events occurring, but also the characters affected.
Aside from the frightening sequences, characters and possibilities, The Conjuring benefits from excellent writing that tells a strong story tethered to the hint of belief/reality and plays on the fears of those watching as if they might actually be in the characters’ terrifying situation. Could it have done without a few characters or a few not so flushed out moments among those characters? Sure. But Wan cares to scare with style and storytelling in this film that is definitely not for the faint of heart. The Conjuring stays true to its promise to scare. Watch if you dare.
If all haunted houses are like this, count me out of EVER walking into one. But, if more horror movies were like this then more would earn a score such as the one this film “conjurers” from me. I expect the upcoming sequel (already in the plans) to follow suit.
My Score: 4 out of 5 stars for The Conjuring (quite possibly, the best horror movie not only of 2013, but also of the past decade)
BUT, you don’t have to take my word for it:
Fogs @ Fogsmoviereviews.com: “The Conjuring is a movie that chills and frightens from beginning to end, with a clever, suspenseful haunting build up that leads to an explosive finale. It has genuine moments of shock and fright, great characters and solid acting.”
Issy @ TheFilmster: “The Conjuring could fall into horror classic, for its great quality and fright factor. Perfectly paced and all out ending will sure keep the fear in you for some time.”
Mark @ FastFilmReviews: “What pushes The Conjuring into watchable entertainment is the game cast that gives the proceedings an air of substance and respectability.”
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer