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The Conjuring

The Conjuring

Movie
Studio(s): 
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Jul 19, 2013
Grade:
B+

Whether it’s forcing people to torture themselves in the Saw franchise or mess with you psychologically with Insidious, James Wan knows how to craft a horror film. Based on a real case by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring is a thrilling return to classic horror that plays with your mind by utilizing what’s not on screen as opposed to what is.

Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) and his wife and five girls are looking to start a new life when they move into an old farmhouse by the countryside. Immediately after their arrival, however, strange things start happening involving his daughters. As the intensity of the activities increases, the family decides to have paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) come and examine the house, only to find that it has been possessed by a powerful demon that won’t allow the family to leave.

The Conjuring doesn’t rely on cheap horror tricks to scare audiences but instead creates this dark and rustic atmosphere that plays with your mind. The house is a character on its own with long hallways, creaking doors, and a hidden basement, complete with flickering lights. The ambiance is great, with shadows playing tricks on your eyes and sounds echoing down the stairs. The scene where Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) plays the clapping game with who she believes to be her daughter is the best example of how a simple game can be made eerily terrifying. Even though you know what’s come, it still doesn’t stop your heart from racing.

It’s the tension The Conjuring creates that separates it from the rest of the horror dribble that comes out of Hollywood. The film is a slow burn that is constantly building tension. There are a few scenes that give a glimpse of the demon but they are so brief that you can only partially see what it looks like. You’re always on the edge of your seat and never quite pushed over it until the very end.

If you’re looking for a good scare, James Wan is the go-to director and The Conjuring proves that he’s not just a one-hit wonder. It’s a great blend of supernatural horror and psychological thriller that feels familiar yet will still surprise you. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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