What can I say about James Wan’s recent horror tale The Conjuring? Well, I now sleep with a nightlight. So, that’s fun. But, in my defense, I live in an older house (which slightly resembles the house in the movie) with bedroom doors that can’t lock. Watch the movie and you’ll understand my distress.
The Conjuring centers around two different families who are brought together by this “conjuring” in 1974. The Perrons have just moved, looking for a new start in a new house, but of course…. The Warrens are paranormal investigators, with Mrs. Warren having some psychic/supernatural abilities.
So, as these things tend to go, not long after the Perrons move into their lovely new house, spooky and unexplainable events occur until it gets to the point where they decide to call in the big guns. The set up is a bit hokey and expected, except for the whole clapping thing – anyone who saw the preview knows what I’m talking about.
That s@#t is just straight bone chilling. Brrr.
The movie does get better, however, as we follow both families and watch how the haunting affects everyone differently. Which is a great way to tell the story, in my opinion. Wan also makes great use of the “less is more” style of scaring viewers. Sure, there are scenes where you have to actually see the ghosts (yes, plural) in order for the characters to truly face them. But, in a lot of scenes, we are left with what we can’t see to scare us, letting our minds run wild in the shadows and possibilities.
Stirring performances are given by Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Lili Taylor (and also the five young actresses that played the Perron children) which keep the story trucking right along during the few dry and somewhat silly parts. For anyone who enjoys a good fright, I recommend giving this one a view.
Oh, and some advice – try not to let Ron Livingston‘s quiet, stoic acting style remind you too much of his character in Office Space. If you can.Click here to watch The Conjuring now on Amazon Instant Video.
Chris Moore is a freelance masochist and an aspiring wordsmith. His travels have made him a self proclaimed expert on all things frightening, odd, and entertaining. On breaks from jet setting and bourbon guzzling, he graces SML with pithy and satirical commentary on what – or what not – to watch. All hail the Maniacal Master of Movie Reviews! The second most interesting man in the world. Read more from Chris here.