The Conjuring Review

The Conjuring

I’m not a huge fan of horror films.

If you don’t believe me, just check out my review of this year’s god awful evil dead remake.

It’s not my fault though, modern horror films are generally speaking the least original and terribly written film known to this man.

Of course, there are people who do like any kind of horror films.

And I even know a few of them.

Something about knowing they’re safe but feeling scared that excites them so.

And who can get enough of being excited?

So lucky for me, and them, that director James Wan’s The Conjuring is one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen.

Roger Perron has fallen on hard times.

Not only does he have a wife to look after, but also a posse of young daughters to clothe, feed and indulge.

Does four count as a posse?

When they’re girl’s, I think so.

Inevitably, looking after the five girls in his life is an expensive affair.

Which is probably why he upped his family’s sticks and moved said troupe to a creepy, old house in the middle of nowhere.

And, as you’d expect of any man who’s living with five women, Roger has sensibly decided on a career in long haul.

So, while he’s driving goods across the belly of America’s beastly heartland, his wife Carolyn and their four daughters are left alone in their new, and entirely not spooky house.

What could possibly go wrong?

But if something bad were to happen, it’s ok because whilst we’re getting to know the wholesome Perron family, we’re also introduced to Ed and Lorraine Warren, two of America’s foremost experts in the world of psychic phenomena and possession.

Could this demon fighting couple help Roger with the biggest problem in his life?

And even if they can’t take one of his daughters off his hands, maybe they can investigate all the scary stuff going on in Roger’s new home.

Forget the way I’ve written this intro, because The Conjuring really is a good horror flick.

It’s just the haunted house in the middle of nowhere setup these days is the same for every scary movie.

Based on real events, or at least that’s what the opening prologue tells us, The Conjuring takes a less is more approach to scaring the bejesus out of us.

So there’s some sinister sounding music here, a creepy looking kid’s doll there and ghostly clapping hands that come out to play when the lights go out just about everywhere.

Thankfully, director Wan is fully aware that what’s truly scary is the demons that lurk in our own mind.

So instead of throwing buckets of fake gore and skewered violent set pieces at us, the man behind the camera for Saw and Insidious allows us to fill in the blanks for the majority of scares that The Conjuring creates.

And instead of a bunch of braindead teens who seem to be auditioning for leading roles in Dumb and Dumber, we get realistic characters played by proper actors like Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.

So if being scared is something that excites you, The Conjuring won’t disappoint.

Jonathan Campbell

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August 2013
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