I have been a fan of writer/director James Wan’s work since the first SAW film. There is something very oldschool in how he approaches the horror genre – from his use of traditional special effects to his set designs – I have fallen in love with Wan’s films. SAW, Insidious, Deadly Silence; they are all films I thoroughly enjoyed. While Insidious may be the weakest of his films, it was still a movie that entertained me from beginning to end. So when I discovered that he was directing The Conjuring, I was very excited. Would this movie be as well enjoyed as his previous films, or will this be the one that makes me question his directorial abilities?
Supposedly based off of true events, The Conjuring follows two separate families. The first being a paranormal investigative husband and wife team – Ed and Lorraine Warren respectively – and the second involving Carolyn and Roger Perron along with their five daughters. The latter of the two families has just moved into an old farmhouse and are being troubled by several paranormal events that range from the basic noises in the night to full on attacks be a demonic entity. They seek out help from the Warrens in hopes to extinguishing this nightmare before it is too late.
When it comes to movies that revolve around Haunted Houses and Possessions, I am very skeptical. A majority of them follow a strict set of guidelines in how to frighten the audience. The Conjuring does not stray far from this formula but it is able to do what so many other films do not; make you care about the characters.
The movie switches between the Warrens and the Perrons’ families, showing insight to both of their lives. When we are focusing on the Warrens, we are learning about their marriage, their history in studying the paranormal, their teaching careers at a local college, and the close encounters they had with demonic entities.
When focused on the Perron family, we are shown the daily lives of the children as they play together, the interactions between the parents (Carolyn and Roger) as a couple and as parents. We are also shown how the evil presence begins to affect everyone in the household. Soon the stress begins to tear into the family’s dynamic and it isn’t long until they are wracked with fear and paranoia.
What really makes the movie come together , however, is the suspense. There are several fantastic moments that really drag you onto the edge of your seat. I wish I could go in detail but I shall refrain in order to prevent any spoilers. There are not as many “Jump” scares (in which a loud noise causes the audience to jump) as most movies. It is all about the atmosphere and the intensity of the situation. The scenes that really steal the show are those that involve the daughters as they are the ones who (at first) are affected the most.
I really enjoyed this movie. It is so rare when a haunting/possession movie keeps me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. There are a lot of genuinely freaky moments (one including James Wan’s obsession of putting dolls in all of his films) and the finale feels like a modern-day Exorcist (this is a very good thing).
I highly recommend The Conjuring to those who wish to see a great haunting/ghost movie.