The Conjuring (2013)
Director James Wan
After the Perron family — Carolyn (Lili Taylor), Roger (Ron Livingston) and their five daughters — move into an old estate they purchased at a bank auction, Carolyn wakes up every morning with various bruises. Daughter Christine feels someone tugging on her feet in the middle of the night, while Cindy routinely sleepwalks into her older sister’s room, banging her head off an old cabinet repetitively. Collectively, they notice an intense coldness in the house, along with a transient aroma of rotting meat and a tendency for the clocks to stop at 3:07 a.m. every night. Of course, these events escalate to more aggressive and dire occurrences, especially after they uncover a boarded-up cellar filled with dusty furniture. When the frightening occurrences escalate in intensity, the Perrons seek help from the Warrens, who arrive with two helpers and an arsenal of state-of-the-art recording devices. Clairvoyant Lorraine picks up on the demonic vibe as soon as she steps through the door. “She possesses the mother to kill the child!” she declares at least a couple of times.
While there isn’t anything new here regarding the plot or the scares, what sets The Conjuring apart from the rest is the quality in its presentation. Yes, there is an abundance of jump scares, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective or conveyed in creative ways. It doesn’t rely solely on these moments either, providing plenty of atmospheric thrills as well. It starts off slow and slowly emerges into an intense and chaotic ride, which is captured using some great cinematography and camera work. The way the camera floats through the rooms of the house, frequently flips upside down, and occasionally tracks family members throughout, adds a nice bit of style to the visuals that benefits the film greatly.
I went to see this movie in a theater because I am a sucker for horror movies. And unfortunately lately there was NONE that would actually give me chills or make me shiver for reals. I went to the theater also with certain expectations, after reading all of the reviews, and to my surprise, my expectations were delivered. There are moments in the movie that I needed to remind myself that its just the movie. Scenes of brutal exorcism, emotional charged characters and jump-out-your-seat moments make a Conjuring movie to step out of the line of its predecessors big time. No wonder that Universal has hired James Wan to make next Fast & Furious movie. Wan has great, bold things in him just waiting to be tapped. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what he does when he steps fully out of the genre. As a horror fan I hope he doesn’t stay away for long, but it would be a shame to confine his ever-improving talents to just horror movies.