Based on a true story of the Perron family seeking the assistance of Ed and Lorraine Warren after the Perrons experience paranormal activity in their home, The Conjuring is directed by James Wan, who also directed Saw and Insidious. With Patrick Wilson and Vera Fermiga playing Ed and Lorraine Warren respectively, The Conjuring is a film that while it may not bring anything new to the table of supernatural horror films, will entertain and frighten the hell out of you. It’s one of the best films of 2013.
Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor respectively) move into an old farmhouse with their 5 daughters and the move goes well except for the family dog who insists on staying out of the house. The first morning after, Carolyn finds a random bruise on her and they also find their dog dead. Soon after, more disturbing events happen and the family grows increasingly scared of living in the home so Carolyn and Roger call in the help of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The Conjuring gets placed above the pedestal because of James Wan’s outstanding direction and Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes’ superb script, moving things along in a slow and masterful pace. While the film moves slowly, once the film finally gets its running shoes on, it’s well worth the time. The camera placement is sublime with the camera placed in such a way that it feels natural. There is a sense of trouble at every corner, every turn and you don’t know when something will jump out at you. You will be short of breath once the film is done. It’s one thing for a film to try and scare you as many times as it can but it’s another to have those scares actually work and make you sweat. The Conjuring does a brilliant job of doing just that: scaring the crap out of you.
While the film does have similar tendencies to classic films like The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, The Conjuring, in its own right, creates a moody atmosphere that can rival such classic films. These are the kinds of horror films we need more of. The kind that make people think about what will happen next; to make people look at all corners of the screen to see if something will pop out and make you jump. The performances of Patrick Wilson and Vera Fermiga carry the film off into the sunset. Wilson and Fermiga are believable to the point of us actually believing they do this for a living. The film also breathes in old school execution, having scenes of documentary style cinematography to create tension and keeping the digital effects to a minimum.
The Conjuring is a welcome addition to the ever growing supernatural horror genre. It doesn’t do anything new, fresh or surprise anyone but The Conjuring succeeds by taking what we are familiar with and taking it to another level. The Conjuring is a film that’ll be talked about for years. If you want a good scare, go see this film.