The Conjuring



Before Ed and Lorraine Warren’s exploits in Amityville came to notice, they had to encounter similar circumstances in Harrisville as well. Dramatised in The Conjuring, the film is one scary attempt at bringing their demons to life. Directed by James Wan of Saw fame, the film features plenty of ghosts and ghouls and other frightful things to scare the living daylights out of audiences.


Patrick Wilson
Vera Farmiga
Ron Livingston
Lili Taylor


James Wan


19th July, 2013


112 minutes


There is probably no genre that has had as much attention and enduring appeal as the ones depicted by horror movies. And quite naturally, I thought I had seen every turn of the wheel. The Conjuring however forced me to reconsider my stand somewhat, by its sheer virtue of being true to the genre but yet unique due to the brilliant execution involved. The story revolves around paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) called in to look into the weird goings on at the house of Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor). Their house seems to be inhabited by ghosts capable of moving things around, stopping clocks and dragging children across the floor.


The Warrens get to work and the examinations continue into the predictable horrible back story that all houses in horror movies must possess. Though the film tails off a bit in the middle with a lack of focus. Thankfully, the second half, despite being a bit anticlimactic restores normal order. The performances are generally good, and the setting rather well chosen. The actors and the house emanate this feeling of being in the throes of danger stalking them. This is certainly a positive as there have been a fair few horror films that failed simply because all the elements didn’t add up.


The retro look of the film looks very much as if it could have belonged in the 70s and the digital effects have been integrated seamlessly. The film makes no bones about its core concept of scaring the audience and does not lose sight in trying to go for character development and other distractions. The end result is a fairly scary barebones flick clocking in at under two hours.


If there is a gripe, it is probably the slightly repetitive nature of certain sequences and some rather obvious cues of impending chills. The camera starts to get shakier and the the Perrons and the Warrens repeat the same sequences while exploring the old house. The soundtrack works quite well, with its menacing nature in harmony with forthcoming ghost sightings and spooky disturbances.


Director James Wan, best known for being the man behind Saw, does the basics exceptionally well and makes no pretensions about his mission to make a scary film and focus only on creating an atmosphere of terror, rather than worry about other aspects of his film. And it works like a charm. The scary scenes are staggeringly rich in attention to detail and there are subtle nods of natural improvisation rather than digital sorcery.


Quite simply, The Conjuring is the best horror film to come along in a long while. It mocks other recent efforts in the genre that have looked obvious and utterly predictable. In what has been a rather mixed year for the movies, it is certainly one of the brighter performers.





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