“The Conjuring” Review

August 4, 2013

Synopsis: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Release Date: July 19th 2013

Director: James Wan

Writers: Chad and Carey Hayes

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston

Studio: New Line Cinema

Website: theconjuring-movie.com

Review: James Wan is kicking a lot of ass. This is the director behind the first SAW movie, which launched a huge franchise making millions. He also directed DEAD SILENCE, INSIDIOUS, and its upcoming sequel INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER TWO. Every film I’ve seen directed by James Wan has been a success. THE CONJURING is no different. This director really understands how to make a ghost story.

I got the chance to catch this movie pretty late. It’s been released for two weeks now and I was shocked to still see a packed theater. I had to sit in the second row all the way on the end. Crummy seats, but it didn’t hurt the experience of watching The Conjuring.

Everyone in the cast does an outstanding job. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are great as The Warrens, the real life investigators the movie is based on. I’m glad the movie has been a hit and we’ll see a sequel based on more of their investigations.

Lili Taylor also deserves some praise. She can play the sweet, innocent mother and then turn on a dime when she’s possessed. The effects are also handled very well throughout the film. Very little CGI was probably used in this movie.

A big area of discussion is the fact that this movie is rated R, although there isn’t a lot of blood or foul language. It was given an R rating because it’s “too scary”. Now, for a horror veteran such as myself, it really wasn’t all that scary. The majority of it consists of the usual jump scares, but there are some creepy sequences throughout the film. Did it keep me up at night? No, but I appreciate the creativity. However, there were a lot of screams coming from the packed audience, which resulted in just as many giggles.

Above all else, I loved the story. James Wan and the writers don’t stray too much from the source material. The story of the Annabelle doll is pretty faithful. The only difference is the real doll was a Raggedy Ann doll. They probably had to change the design for copyright purposes. It’s a good thing Lorraine Warren is still alive and that the writers spent hours interviewing her. She even has a little cameo in the film. Nice.

The story is interesting, the cast gives great performances and the pacing builds nicely and takes the audience on a great ride. This movie is breaking records for a horror film being released in the summer and for good reason. If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, do yourself a favor and go. The Exorcist is still the scariest movie of all time, but The Conjuring may be the scariest movie released this decade. It’s this generations version of The Amityville Horror.

If James Wan hasn’t been on your radar, he should be. I expect even more great things to come from him in the future.

THE CONJURING – 9 out of 10 stitches

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