The Conjuring (2013) Mini Review

“Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.”

Directed by: James Wan

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

Official synopsis:

“The Conjuring” tells the tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon 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.

Mini Review:

I’m just going to throw this out there – The Conjuring is pretty much the perfect horror film. For the record, I watched this film in the dark, on my lonesome in the dead of night, and needless to say, it was a stressful experience that probably aged me by 10 years. Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) continues his proud tradition in horror with The Conjuring, a film that conjures up (see what I did there) memories of horror greats The Exorcist and Poltergeist.

Whilst perhaps not the most original film in the genre ever made, it simply does everything well. There are jumps and scares a plenty without ever feeling cheap, and this is predominantly due to the excellent execution of the mood, the design of the house, the use of practical effects and the lurking, creeping camera which lingers just long enough on the shadows to draw out the maximum tension before revealing the horror within.

There are no “fake-out” scares to be seen here – James Wan has simply and effectively nailed the atmosphere of the film and lets the tension build to a dramatic crescendo. A special mention should also be reserved for the Annabelle doll, Wan’s creepiest creation since Saw’s Billy the Puppet. That is one creepy, creepy doll.

The performances are excellent throughout, even as the film teeters towards ridiculous territory near its end. As is often the case with horror films, the ending doesn’t live up to the drama that has unfolded before it, with the creeping tension replaced by loud struggles against the evil within the house and its inhabitants. However it’s the brilliant performances which ensure the plot remains somewhat believable, and gives the tale a mostly satisfying conclusion.

The Conjuring is a horror film sure to live long in the memory, mostly because it’s likely to have caused a fair amount of mental scarring. Damn you James Wan!

In short:

Near perfect horror – prepare for a scare.

Rating (out of 5):

4 Stars

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