3 Aug 2013

'The Conjuring' Review

Director: James Wan
Chad Hayes

Stars: Verna Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor 

Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators work with a family who have just moved into their home to rid it from its dark, evil spirits of the family that died before them, and when discovering that things are worse than they seem, the Warrens realize that they have something stronger at hand to deal with.

Before I get into anything about the actual movie, all I have to say is that if your planning to wait for The Conjuring online to watch think again, because this is a horror that should be watched at the theatres and only at the theatres, it's part of the experience, and it's being in a big, dark surround-sound room that delivers the true suspense and chills The Conjuring has to offer. Take note people, take note.

If you're going into this expecting something deeply dark and frightening, then you'll come out one satisfied viewer. The Conjuring is a rare horror film that makes every scare as intense and chilling as the next, that's how powerful this movie is, it's ability to make the audience once again familiar with the old-fashioned, traditional supernatural horror's that once made the genre as iconic as it is today. it's pull-back to the once generic, now near-extinct sub-genre is refreshing for horror fans, and with endless Paranormal Activity movies and other cliched ghost flicks, it's a breath of fresh air for the tired sub-genre.

James Wan's ability to once again frighten the audience is baffling, and the sheer originality of each scare in each movie proves that Wan is not finished with scaring audiences s**tless, hence Insidious Chapter 2. The Conjuring surpasses any of his previous work by a mile, and makes Insidious look like a Goosebumps episode, that's how scary it is. It may not have the inventive fashion as Insidious, but it's living proof that going back to basics is what the horror genre needs, and Wan has his finger firmly on the pulse of horror; He knows how to scare an audience, and he hits the mark with near perfection.

In saying all of this, a part of me expected it to be better than what it was, and perhaps I wanted it to have more of an impact, and despite this being one of the more frightening horror movie in years, it just didn't feel like a finished product.  Sure Wan knows what he want's to achieve, but a few moments towards the middle were too slow to maintain the attention, and felt somewhat pointless to the story; i'm sure Wan wanted this, but it felt too out-of-character with the film's style that it became slight off-putting.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed The Conjuring, but it was missing that fun element that could have made it a near-perfect experience, and many would argue that it was a fun horror flick, but it's hard to find it fun when your a mini heart-attack was waiting around the corner behind each scare. It may not be fun but it was enjoyable, if that counts...

The characters are fleshed out, and deliver some actual emotion to the audience, making us root for them from the get-go, which is somewhat overlooked in this generation of horror movies. Though it's hard to dislike a sweet and gleeful family, you really feel for their fear through the duration of the film, and the transition from loving mother to disturbed being is simply fascinating to watch. The progression for all the characters is a transition that should engage the audience from start to finish, and the kids play great performances in keeping the intensity at a high level, high enough to send chills down your spine. It's a professionally presented horror that's acting is a higher standard than the movie itself; expect a great movie, but expect great acting also.

The cinematography of the piece is quite beautiful. The lighting creates the perfect atmospheric mood that lets you know where is safe is and were is not, but it's obvious through Wan's previous work that he is a visually talented storyteller judging by Insidious and Dead Silence, and The Conjuring can be put up there as yet another piece of artwork in Wan's gallery. It's sepia undertone presents the time-frame to perfection, and the mise-en-scene enhances the taste of what type of horror film this is, keeping the audience aware that the visual imagery is to compliment the dark, old-fashioned style of the horror. A great balance that sharpens the scares to a near unbearable amount. Sure, expect something scary, but also expect something visually fantastic.

VERDICT: Don't follow the hype, as you might be slightly disappointed, but The Conjuring is a truly frightening flick that sets an all-new standard for the supernatural sub-genre, and making the Paranormal Activity franchise look like a joke when it comes to the scares, be ready for an extremely intense, pulse-pounding, spine-shivering fright-fest that will surely cause a few night-less sleeps.


  1. Good review. We pretty much agree on what it was that made the movie good. I seem to have enjoyed it more, as I gave it a full star higher rating in my review. But I think it's because I went in with lower expectations than you did, so I was more pleasantly surprised, lol.

    1. Thanks! exactly, I mean everyone was saying about how good it was, so it didn't match the expectation, so it goes to show that the lower expectations you have the better.



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