Release Date: July 19th, 2013
Director: James Wan
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Grade Rating: A
Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. "The Conjuring" tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.
Considering all the hype this movie has received since its release, and the fact that James Wan directed it, I walked into The Conjuring with extremely high expectations. James Wan's previous horror film, Insidious, is one of my favorites, and absolutely terrified me when I first viewed it. And then I viewed it again. And again. (And I am so freaking excited for the sequel coming later this year, you have no idea.)
With that having been said, I will say that The Conjuring failed me on one aspect: I just didn't find it to be scary. From all of the advertisements I had seen, to the notice in one of the theaters about a priest being there to help with spiritual assistance to those who needed it after watching the film, I expected something truly scary in The Conjuring. And, to be honest, I just really didn't find it.
And it's not because I'm generally difficult to scare, but mostly I didn't think there were many attempts to scare the viewer in The Conjuring. There is definitely a lot of freakiness and creepy things going on, and some things did manage to unsettle me greatly at times.
|For instance, this little shit right here.|
BUT, the movie having not been able to genuinely scare me aside, I did think The Conjuring was truly great. The acting skills of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are excellent as always, and their roles as the ghost-hunting Warrens was fantastic. I found their characters, as well as the family being haunted, to be extremely likable, and I soon found myself hoping that everything would end up well for everyone. Which is weird for me, because normally I'm the type of horror movie fan that never wants a happy ending, but with The Conjuring I didn't want anything bad happening to the Warrens or the family.
Although it wasn't quite as terrifying as I had hoped it would be, The Conjuring is most certainly creepy as all hell. There are some really, really awesome scary scenes, a freaky ass evil doll (see above), and just a bunch of crazy things happening, including one of the most awesome exorcism scenes I've ever seen in horror. The Conjuring isn't just mindless horror and ghostly activity--it's a smart film that will likely stick with you, and it will make you think and it will make you care, and that's why I fully believe The Conjuring deserves the hype it has gotten so far. It's an excellent movie, with an excellent cast of characters, and an excellent plot.
I think it's safe to say I'm a definite fan of James Wan. And also Vera Farmiga. And definitely Patrick Wilson. And the little girl from Ramona and Beezus--she really surprised me in this one. You go, Beezus.
Also: bonus points for the nod towards The Amityville Horror by the end. That was awesome.