1-15 - Movie Review: The CONJOURINGNew Line Cinema
2013
R

“When the music stops, you’ll see him in the mirror standing behind you.”

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.

I’ll just get this out of the way fist thing: I feel a great big opportunity was missed by not utilizing the Megadeth song “The Conjuring” as part of this movie’s soundtrack. Sure, The Conjuring (the movie) was stylized as a period piece set in the 1970s, and using a metal song written in 1986 would have made no sense aesthetically; and sure, there might be a snag getting permission to use the song in the first place, what with Dave Mustaine all but disavowing the song due to his faith. Still, it would have made a nice end credits capper to an otherwise rather decent horror movie.

At this point, if it’s a horror movie, and James Wan’s name is anywhere near it, I’m all over it like a diabetic on insulin. And before you all start hitting me with the accusations of being an insensitive jerk, let me point out that I happen to be one of those big, fat Type 2 Diabetic people. Sure, I take Metformin rather than insulin, but still. Buggar off.

Now, where was I? Oh, right. The review.

Back in the mythical year of 1971, a magical time where everyone was suffering from the grand hangover from the 1960s, a family moves into an old farm house in Rhode Island. After discovering a boarded up entrance to a cellar, weird stuff starts happening in the house: all the clocks stopping at 3:97am, one of the kids feeling a weird tugging on her leg while trying to sleep, mystery sounds in the hallway, the pictures falling by some force…and, oh yeah, the dog ends up dying mysteriously. So, they decide to get professional paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren to check out what’s going on with the house. Turns out that it once belonged to an accused witch who sacrificed her baby to the devil and killed herself back in 1863, but not until placing a curse that would effect all who try to take her land. Which is something the Realtor should have outlined in the pamphlet while showing them the place, you would think. Since that time, it’s been the site of numerous murders and suicide deaths. Wackiness ensues when they decide to exorcise the house, causing all sorts of possession and murder attempts. Oh, and that blasted doll Annabelle comes into play for a bit as well, though not as much as you would have liked.

First off, I want to point out that I’m aware of the whole controversy surrounding the Warrens and their claims of true-life paranormal investigations. I’m also familiar with the scandals and exposure as frauds. I usually take the whole “based on a true story” tags on movies with a massive amount of salt in any case. Even biopics using the actual people they’re filming about as advisers I watch with some healthy skepticism. With The Conjuring, I more or less went into it as a straight-up horror movie, with no ties to any kind of “true story”. Really, if the story is good, who cares whether or not it’s based on something true?

And The Conjuring is a very good horror movie. When it’s all said and done, it’s a very well-shot and well-made retro style horror movie that builds the atmosphere effectively and utilizes practical effects to enhance the dread and horror. The period setting added to the feel of the film, and the acting was rather good. Overall, while I wouldn’t say it’s a keeper, I definitely would say you could watch it more than once and still get some enjoyment out of it.

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