Critical Condition

The Conjuring

2.5 Stars

   


The Conjuring

Rated R for sequences of disturbing violence and terror

Directed by James Wan

Produced by Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, Rob Cowan

Written by Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

Starring
Vera Farmiga
Patrick Wilson
Ron Livingston
Lili Taylor

Music by Joseph Bishara

Cinematography John R. Leonetti

Editing by Kirk M. Morri

Studio The Safran Company
Evergreen Media Group
New Line Cinema
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date
July 19, 2013
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English.

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Ed and Lorraine Warren were real life people, probably most famous for investigating the creepy and, most likely, made up story of the haunting the we all know as The Amityville Horror.  However, there is one case that they have kept secret for years and it appears that the best way to reveal that case is to make a major motion picture production of it!

It's The Conjuring and, to be honest, you don't have to believe in spooks, ghosts, demons, or ghost-hunters to have a good time in this movie.  The Conjuring could very well be the best horror movie to come out in years.

After a quick and very creepy prologue with a demonic doll, we are introduced to the Perron family who are moving out to the country to their dream home.  Soon, however, their dream home turns into a series of bedwetting night terrors as hell slowly becomes unleashed to the point that wardrobes betray their promise to take you to snowy Lion-Jesus land and clapping hands become the stuff of your most vicious nightmares.

Enter Ed and Lorraine who come to clean the house and end up embroiled in a demonic possession that not only plays hard, but plays dirty... eventually going after the ghost hunters themselves.

Its wonderful when horror gets in the hands of someone who knows how it works.  Someone who knows that a darkened hallway and growling noises can illicit more scares than some CGI abomination.  The conjuring moves slowly and methodically, but never feels like it is stagnated.  The slow build up continues and continues but never becomes boring.

When spooky shit does go down, it is effective and clever and plays on fears we can all relate to.  Mysterious bangs, a darkened cellar... they are everything that we have been afraid of before and seeing them unfold on the screen is like reliving them all over again.

More than that, The Conjuring not only works as a supremely crafted supernatural thriller, but it also works because it presents us with characters that we care about.  The Perron family, with all of their bitchiness, problems, and togetherness are relatable people.  It's impossible not to like characters that worry about money, or lovingly escort a sleepwalking child back to bed.

Even the Warrens, whether you believe that they are saviors or charlatans, are presented as good people with problems, cares, and a family of their own.  It's an easy way to find something in common with a duo who make their living fighting Satan.

There may not be anything spit-shine new about the story, but it's still an effective one with well-timed scares, a superb and creepy atmosphere, and an overall sense of anticipation and dread.  The Conjuring is horror done right with actual horror, no cheap jump cuts, gore, or CGI.  Just good old-fashioned scary stuff and a story you can get emotionally vested in.  It's the best horror movie I've seen all year and, quite likely, the best I've seen in several years.

The "based on a true story" thing is most likely bullshit or at least stretched thin to the point that it is transparent and could be jumped on for amusement by children, but it doesn't matter... the movie is unexpectedly great and contains more than enough spookiness for fans of horror.

2.5 Stars

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