From the same director who started the Saw franchise and gave us the modern day horror classic Insidious, which still gives me chills just thinking about it (can’t wait for Insidious 2), James Wan, who is relatively new to the movie industry, created yet another film that can add to his impressive horror repertoire.
Set in 1971, The Conjuring is based on a proverbial true story about Ed and Lorraine Warren (played perfectly by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farm house.
Carolyn and Roger Perron (played by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) have just transferred to an old and creepy house with their five daughters. You would know (and it’s too damn obvious) that this house has something dark and eerie just by looking at it, all horror fans would agree. The place is old and secluded, the house has so many rooms with creaking floor and doors and a scary barricaded basement, plus the fact that their dog knows something is up and the family has 5 female pre-adolescent/adolescent daughters (girls this age seem to have a sinister energy that attracts malevolent spirits) – the whole set-up is basically a perfect recipe for a horror disaster. After a series of disturbing nights, the Perrons seek professional help from the ones who were responsible for clearing the horror in Amityville—the Warrens who else. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the Warrens find themselves in the most horrifying case of their lives.
The Conjuring is indeed a film of demonic possessions and haunted houses and aside from the utter scares that this film offers, it is the actors that deliver. I am a fan of both Wilson and Farmiga and in this movie they do not disappoint me at one bit. Collins is absolutely convincing as the scared mother Carolyn. Even the kid actors are remarkable and you could really feel their emotions and even their anxieties when struck in the middle of a very daunting scene. I have to give credit not just to Wan and the actors, but more so to the writers Chad and Carey Hayes for creating a compelling, no-nonsense screenplay from start to finish. There may be some horror movie cliché’s here and there but you would not care much as you are already bothered by the horror this movie has shown.
So you think this is just any other typical horror movie? Well, it can be, but the horror here is simple yet frightening, predictable yet unpredictable (you think you knew what’s gonna happen but you really don’t, I tell you). When Director Wan gets down to business of spooking the bejeezus out of you, he will surely do it. I may still think that Insidious is scarier though, but you cannot erase the fact that Wan is becoming a master in this genre. Who knew that a simple game of hide and clap will give a spine-chilling response that will leave you gasping for air, at the edge of your seat, and in need of medical attention? One resounding slow clap for that or better yet, applause.
4.0 out of 5 stars.