The Conjuring (2013) Miller Meter—8/10

Directed By: James Wan

Written By: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

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

R     1 h 52 min – Horror

James Wan you did it again!  The film stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston.  Ed and Loraine Warren are paranormal investigators stompin’ all over debunking family’s claims of demons, ghosts and any other weirdness going on in their lives.  They are masters in their field and when they DO come across some real possession or supernatural happenings they know just what to do to stop it.  Loraine is also clairvoyant which definitely helps their cause.  They come into contact with Carolyn Perron, a woman desperate for some help and guidance do the fact that there’s been some crazy stuff happening in their house.  The Perron’s have five daughters and recently moved into a new house.  Right out of the gate you’re fully aware that things are not ok in this new place, but of course that doesn’t deter them (it never does right?).

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The young girls start hearing things, seeing things, the clocks are stopping…all of those indicators that there’s a demon or some sort of evil at work.  Though the Warrens have withdrawn from the game temporarily due to Loraine having been traumatized from an exorcism gone awry, they agree to help the Perrons.  From there the plot thickens as the Warrens are faced with something they didn’t expect.  Now I’m a horror enthusiast, and it takes a lot to get me freaked out.  I jumped enough to rival most NBA players as did the other people in the theater with me.  The terror of the film comes from the believability of the characters and situations they’re thrown into.

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The way Wan tells this story has you freaked out from the film’s open, and he nails it with the camera work.  He really accomplished showing us how scary looking under the bed REALLY is…something I haven’t seen in a long time.  The low and imperfect lighting have you feeling uncomfortable as hell in the best way for the entirety of the film.  Another huge plus is the fact that though we’ve seen a million possession flicks it’s not cliché or campy, nor is it predictable like the rest.  James Wan is truly reinventing the way horror films are made; this one had me questioning my affinity for being scared.  I can usually tell myself it’s just a movie, but his vision makes you feel like you’re there with no way out.  Why then do I give it an 8?  ***Spoiler Alert*** the ending.  I was so happy about its lack of cheese…until the last 5 minutes.  At no point in the film is there the presence of a musical score, until of course the end where a tacky set of uplifting “we made it!” strings are cued up and the camera jibs upwards.  Ugh!  That aside, it’s a great flick and you’ll definitely be extremely hesitant about sleeping by yourself afterwards!

 

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