The Conjuring

It scares us just thinking about it. When you hear it, you’re gonna think we’re insane.” — Debbie, “Try us. Please, from the start.” — Ed Warren

Heart palpitations, fainting, chest pain? Check, check, check. No, don’t worry, we are not having a heart attack; we just watched James Wan’s The Conjuring. And is there any better start to a horror film than claiming that it was based on a ‘true’ story? It sets the mood and instantly puts you on edge.

Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren are invited to try and help the Perron family, who is plagued by the appearance of supernatural elements in their new house. The film depicts a demon and several ghosts, one of which is, of course, the mandatory creepy child ghost. It also provides insight into the lives of the Warrens and their other cases, thus allowing for the continuation in the form of a series of films. Both the Warrens and the Perrons could win ‘Parents of the Year’ Award for leaving their children in homes with supernatural elements. The cast was good, with the possible highlight of Vera Farmiga’s portrayal of Lorraine Warren, who used subtle body language to carry the role.

The film has some beautiful shots and contrasts of a creepy, dark house representing the oppressive spirits connected to it, and the sunny outside environment. It is set in the 1970s with references to the popular culture of the times, slang used by the youth, and 70s fashion. And sure, it is another one in the line of haunted house movies but it shows you why those movies are considered to be scary. It gives you all the classics: the ghost in the corner of your eye, slamming doors, moving objects and voices on the tape, but it puts them in a fresh package.

Is it a completely true story? We are 99% sure that it is not. Though claiming that it is certainly helped to bring in high profits – it earned 318 million dollars worldwide with an investment of just 20 million dollars. The Conjuring also brought a resurgence of the horror movie, with a couple of sequels and spin offs which also achieved critical acclaim and great profits.

You’d think it was surprising that it grossed so much, but then you remember that this is a movie from the director of Saw.

The movie starts out a bit slow, turns creepy and then quickly slides into downright scary. The tension is slowly built and doesn’t let you go until the very end. It is greatly helped by Joseph Bishara’s frightening score and careful placement of jump scares. The Conjuring deserves its R rating on the account of the fright it causes. Still, it gives you little comic reliefs to alleviate the pressure and help you reach the end.

The only complaint could be the plot hole regarding the ghosts in the house. The demon is gone, but what happened to them? Did they remain in the house? Because they were really scary too. You’d think that they could have taken a bit of time to bring them closure. It is an hour-and-a-half to two hours long movie.

Still, it is a great representative of the supernatural horror genre, so you should watch it. Preferably during the day, and not alone, especially if you are prone to nightmares.

P.S. Let’s face it, if it was John Wick moving into the house the demon would have been exorcised in the first half an hour. Or it would have known better than to kill a poor beautiful dog.

IMDb 3.7 /5
3.7 out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes 4.3 /5
4.3 out of 5
Rogue Cinema 4 /5
4 out of 5
Overall

Combined average

4out of 5

Good
4 out of 5
Category Horror

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