One would say on where the horror film genre is going downhill due the fact that it is satirized by found footage films, torture porn, and re-makes that doesn’t really live up to its predecessor. Once in a while there would be that one horror film that would truly stand out and it is The Conjuring. Director, James Wan was able to deliver yet another spine-chilling, well-crafted and intense horror film for the genre.
Based on the true case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren tells the story on how they successfully unfold the case of a wrathful spirit. In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron moved to a desolated house that happens to be inhabited by demons. Night after night the family has been experiencing strange and violent phenomenons, the family started to consult to two paranormal investigators to examine the house and defeat the evil spirit once and for all.
For the past few years, James Wan has proved that he can deliver a well-crafted modern horror film. He showed it through the original Saw film and Insidious. He knows how to terrify his audience through his slow shots and dead silence without the use of the cheap and overly-used “jump scare”. The film may have had hints of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist or William Perdkin’s The Exorcist but James Wan is not really the typical director where he would take all of his inspirations and just put it on-screen without giving any depth at all, he takes all of those and craft it with something fresh enough for the audience.
Horror films are not really famous for being gory in an over the top manor nor is it famous for jump scares. Horror films are famous for showing you haunting imagery and intensity though without those elements it is surprising that this film has an R Rating at the cinemas for having horrific imagery. There were a couple of jump scares in the film but they weren’t really cheap per say, they were actually well placed. The film does feature horrific enough imagery and like I said earlier it was set-up very well through it’s slow pace and dead silence without the high-pitched musical accompaniment. I also admire that James Wan uses practical effects to back up the imagery of that very scare without the use of CGI effects (though the crows scene at the end ruined it though). The demonic hide and seek aspect of the film was very well handled because of the direction it was given.
The film definitely has a lot of terrifying enough imagery, not really the kind of imagery that will haunt me for days after watching the film. I didn’t enjoy enough of the scares of the film at the first half of the film because I was very much spoiled by the trailers (I was supposed to avoid the trailers but The Great Gatsby screening was playing the trailer where it spoiled almost everything), if I didn’t watch that one trailer I would’ve enjoyed the film, I highly recommend you avoid the trailers and when you go in blind I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this film more than I did. I’m not going to downgrade the film for that; I will definitely blame the film’s marketing team (and probably even myself).
The film is a good kind of throwback horror; it’s not the kind of throwback horror film where there would be elements of classic horror films to be jumbled into one film without giving depth to those elements. The setting of the film does show it’s authentication to the retro 70s classic horror films. Yes, this is definitely nothing like an original nor is it a groundbreaking horror film and yes, the typical ghost story clichés like an abandoned house, the possession, the hidden basement, etc. but they all those clichés do have enough depth for it to be a satisfying whole.
The performances are the best part of the film and it is the reason why the setting is very much believable and it is all thanks to Chad and Carey Hanes’ script. Not being the typical modern horror movie, the family is very much believable and not really a cast of fresh faced and talentless actors. The family felt like a real family, when things go down you can really feel the sense of fear on their faces and their family dynamic was well executed (not to mention there are very good kid actors in this film, and that’s a rare case in film nowadays). Lily Taylor is very much the focal point of the entire family and continuing my statement of the family being believable, she was the best out of the family and it is with the help of her believably vulnerable performance. My last commendations will be for Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, I liked how well written these two characters were, and they were definitely the best part of the film. They both share a good on-screen chemistry.
In the end, The Conjuring is an enjoyable horror film. Like I said earlier, it is definitely not the best nor is it a ground breaking horror film but it is the best kind of horror film that is very much a nostalgic one. The film is filled with scary enough imagery that will keep your spine tingling for the entire experience and performances that will make the setting and the scares be believable. I highly recommend you see this while it is out in the theaters and see it with the biggest group possible.
+VERY GOOD PERFORMANCES
+DECENT AMOUNT OF DEPTH
+SCARY ENOUGH IMAGERY
+DECENT YET NOSTALGIC STORY
-A LITTLE BIT DEVELOPMENT BEHIND THE GHOST STORY ITSELF
-A BIT SLOW PACED AT SOME POINT
-A BIT SLOW PACED AT SOME POINT