Director: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
The Conjuring Review: This latest movie from Saw director James Wan goes down a fairly traditional haunted house film route. In it, a regular family move into a new home and are immediately terrorised by a malevolent ghost; a married couple who specialise in dealing with paranormal activity are called in to help exorcise the evil spirit. It was seemingly based on a true story. From the above synopsis you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a re-tread of the likes of The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist. And I suppose in many ways you would be correct as the influence of these types of films is pretty evident. But that would only be half the story because The Conjuring is a film that definitely stands up on its own right and for my money is one of the very best horror films of the last few years. The chief reason for this is simply that at times it is very scary indeed. The Conjuring is not a graphic horror film at all; it relies on the fear of the unknown and the unseen. It combines lots of the things that make traditional ghost stories so sinister – an old house, a hidden room, a witch, tragic histories, possession, creepy old children’s toys and, of course, well-placed jump scares. The Conjuring has all of these elements and uses them well. It doesn’t necessarily bring a lot of new things to the genre but what it does do is expertly arrange several traditional ideas into a very satisfying whole.
On top of all this, it’s a very well-acted affair. Particularly impressive are Vera (The Departed) Farmiga and Patrick (Hard Candy) Wilson who play the paranormal experts. They have a definite chemistry with one-and-other and bring a solid believability to their characters. And pleasingly they play things completely straight. Overall, this is an excellent horror film. The Conjuring is highly recommended to the horror fans and more specifically those who like films about ghosts. Great stuff.
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