Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Synopsis: Based on a true story. A demonic presence haunts a family after moving into a new home. It's up to the help of a renowned demonologist couple to rid them of the evil before it's too late.
Based on the notes of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the same demonologists that investigated the Amityville haunting, The Conjuring follows Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) and their 5 daughters. Shortly after moving into new home in the middle of nowhere, the family begins to experience supernatural occurrences that seem to be evil in nature. Seeking the help of the Warren’s, it is determined that what they are dealing with is demonic in nature and the spirits true intentions are quickly revealed.
As a horror purist, I tend to yearn for the days of old when it comes to my films. The vast majority of films that have come out in recent years are mostly created to cater to the mainstream audience and don’t take half the chances that the old films took. Horror releases have always been based on what is the current craze but in the 70’s and early 80’s it was across the board so film makers had to create something special for their film to stand out and get the attention of the audience. Atmosphere became equally as important as the story itself. Scares were incredibly timed and the greats had the ability to build the anxiety until a climax that would have you feeling that weird heated sensation and heart beat in your ears like when you become incredibly nervous. With the exception of films like .REC and The Descent, there haven’t been many films to really strike a nerve like the film from decades past. Nothing has been able to capture that general feeling of horror the movies are meant too.
Now with all that said, I’m not going to foolishly make the claim that The Conjuring is the 2nd coming of the Exorcist but it’s definitely a film that leans in the right direction. Taking nods from the Amityville Horror and The Changeling, The Conjuring is a mood setting ghost story like we want. In its homage to the greats, it does come off a bit predictable but sometimes that familiar route is something very welcomed. If we’re going to go down a road traveled before I’d rather it is something with substance than another Saw clone (funny this is by the guys who created Saw). The Conjuring doesn’t rely on a visceral gore fest, cheap nudity, or an abundance of profanity. It simply relies on being scary.
With every mainstream horror movie coming out recently essentially being a clone of the last one, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a time piece. The setting, the music, the dialogue…this film is like it was made in 1971 and dropped in 2013 and I, for one, appreciate that. I highly recommend this for horror fans that want to just sit back and watch a fun, old school ghost flick. This is close as you are getting to what was delivered in the 70’s, albeit a bit predictable at times.