Director: James Wan
Spoiler-Free Summary & Review:
The Conjuring tells the tale of the Warren family, a married couple with their five daughters, who move into a horrifically haunted house in Rhode Island in the early 1970s. Once they being to realize that something is terribly amiss, as the malevolent spirits begin to terrorize them all, they call on the help of the Perrons – a husband/wife duo of paranormal experts. The Perrons work to determine the causes of the hauntings, in order to save the Warrens of the increasingly violent attacks.
This movie is a great return to the look and feel of classic horror movies of the 1970s. Granted, there is no new ground being broken here. You’ve got your typical haunted house scenario, complete with spooky basements, creepy trees in the yard, and a house full of doors that need serious doses of WD-40. Despite the potentially tired story and plot, this movie does what it seeks out to, and it does it well. It doesn’t go overboard on the gore or graphic violence, but rather parcels out the moments of intensity to great effect.
Creepy dolls. Wild-haired old hags. Squeaky rocking chairs. This film breaks out all the classics.
The characters and acting are similar to the story – nothing original or revelatory, but very solid. The young Warren girls all perform perfectly well, as they need to. Probably the best performance is by Lili Taylor, who has to go from pleasant house-marm to bat-s#!t crazy, infanticidal wild woman. And she does it well.
If you like classic horror films, such as The Exorcist (it’s not that intense, though), then this one is for you. For full effect, do what I did – turn out the lights and watch it late at night, alone. It helps that my house is a slightly creaky, 85-year old number that makes a few eerie noises of its own. Perfect.
Coming Soon: Thor: The Dark World (2013)