What’s is About?
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
Directed by James Wan
9 out of 10
“The Conjuring” is proof that true scares don’t resonate from things popping out of nowhere, monsters that refuse to die, or belt driven plots that exist to titillate more than frighten. The true scares come from a meaningful plot, excellent acting, and practical effects that are used correctly. James Wan hits one out of the ballpark with “The Conjuring.” What might look like another shitty remake of the “The Amityville Horror” is the furthest thing from it. I think this is the finest horror film since Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
What makes it work so well? It starts with a great setup that brings us into the world of demonic forces and the havoc they can wreak. It then introduces us to a loving and beautiful family that you will care about. They don’t have some dark secret or abusive parent bullshit to pull us away from the main plot. They are an ordinary and loving family putting everything into a home they hope they can raise their family in. Now, because their setup is done intelligently, when all hell breaks loose you are gripped in fear and full of empathy for what they are put through.
I’ll warn you right now, The Conjuring has true scares in it that will make you jump and fill you with an unease other films wish they could. It’s all done with little to no CGI, a low budget (by today’s standards), no big star, and very few locations. How? When you have a gifted director like James Wan who can use his camera in interesting ways and keep the pacing tight, it proves to be far more effective than a bunch of worthless special effects. There’s a magic in truly effective horror. It doesn’t come around that often. You can probably count on two hands the number of horror films that truly frightened you. Be prepared to add “The Conjuring” to that list.