About the Movie ” The Conjuring ” –
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. — (C) WB
- Run Time – 1 hr. 52 min.
- Genre – Mystery & Suspense Horror.
- Directed by – James Wan
- Written by – Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes.
- In Theaters – Jul 19, 2013 Wide.
- US Box Office – $133.8MReviews –
Getting a blood transfusion of molten steel is possibly the only way you’ll stay in your seat all the way through this haunted house movie. No blood is spilled, but American censors rated it R (equivalent to our 18) anyway – reportedly for being ‘too scary’. I’ll confess to letting out a yelp during one scene, like a puppy being strangled, as an invisible hand tugged at the leg of a sleeping child.It’s directed by James Wan (the man who started the ‘Saw’ franchise) and claims to based on ‘true case files’. Set in 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) have just moved into a classic creepy old farmhouse: nooks, crannies and a barricaded basement. Clearly something is up when their dog refuses to enter the house. Plus the Perrons have too many teenage-ish daughters for comfort (girls of a certain age being lightning rods for malevolent spirits, as every horror fan knows).Wan builds mounting dread with silence and suspense, lingering the camera unsettlingly long here, creaking a door there. Finally, after a night from hell, the Perrons seek professional help. And if your house is haunted, who you gonna call? Lorraine and Ed Warren – the husband and wife ghostbusters (played here by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) who de-spooked the house in Amityville. The plot is skeletal. And ‘The Conjuring’ is not ingenious like, say, the first ‘Paranormal Activity’.One reason it works is the acting. Lili Taylor is totally convincing as scared mum Carolyn. And heaven only knows how the filmmakers got a look of pure terror on the face of 12-year-old actress Joey King (maybe they dangled Justin Bieber over a balcony in front of her). Best of all, the script doesn’t take itself too seriously, adding in stupid-funny lines. Wan is going great guns right up until he unveils the source of the evil, and with it unleashes prosthetics and predictable horror movie clichés (he did the same in ‘Insidious’). But by this time you’ll have had the sweet bejesus spooked out of you and may not care.
Author: Cath Clarke
Rejecting the threadbare “found footage” artifice of recent horror stories, “The Conjuring” returns us to the traditions of dark old houses, creaking floorboards and sudden supernatural shocks. Director James Wan delivers a ruthlessly intense haunted-house ride. Without recourse to the gruesome S&M excesses of his “Saw” franchise, Wan conjures the chill of a demon breathing down your neck.
The film has a classic structure working for it. The setting is 1970s Rhode Island, where trucker Roger Perron (Ron Livingston), his wife Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and their five daughters take up residence in a surprisingly affordable old mansion. There are settling-in pains. The girls experience tugging sensations at their ankles as they sleep. It could be sleep twitching. Carolyn finds livid bruises on her body each morning. It could be iron deficiency. Those spooky chords from the abandoned piano in the basement … mice?
But what of the menacing presences the younger girls claim they sense? Cinematographer John R. Leonetti’s restrained camera puts you in a jittery trance as it stares and stares into the abyss of a darkened bedroom. You hope it will glimpse something to break the tension. But you really, really hope it won’t.
There’s a moody blue-collar naturalism to the film that helps us suspend disbelief. The flat lighting and timeworn look of the sets and costumes create a claustrophobic universe. The film builds a strong charge of anxiety as we realize the Perrons are trapped, economically, spatially and spiritually.
Colin Covert’s Review –
When the family’s night terrors become intolerable, they ask the help of husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). The Warrens have a young daughter of their own, and a home museum of occult artifacts from previous encounters with supernatural evil. Devoutly religious, they understand the Perrons’ plight and want to help. But an exorcism gone “horribly wrong” has left Lorraine damaged and fragile. Taking the new case could be a disaster. And yet it’s their duty.
“The Conjuring” borrows from a panoply of classic shockers, but respectfully, earning every citation through its sincerity and craftsmanship. The performers go about their work as if no one told them this is “just” a horror movie.
The story unfolds with very few breaks for comic relief (Ed informs Roger that a demonic spirit attaches itself to a vulnerable human “like stepping on gum”) or cheap scares. There are exquisitely eerie sequences here. At one point a burly off-duty cop brought in by the Warrens washes a coffee cup in the Perrons’ kitchen. Wan frames the shot so the window over the sink is prominent. You can’t take your eyes off the window, convinced that something awful must be about to smash through it.
Wan draws out the suspense, elaborates the scene with a digression that doubles down the tension, and pays it off with a jab-hook-uppercut of shocks that leaves your popcorn forgotten on your lap.