My gut reaction of ‘The Conjuring’? Sweet Christ that was scary. Normally I’m underwhelmed by the lackluster storyline, acting, special effects, etc. but with this film, my feet and palms literally started to sweat while I was watching.
The story focuses on two very different families united by one mega evil. Lets start with the first – The Warrens: Lorianne and Ed travel around helping people with either demonic possession, haunted houses or really creepy dolls that won’t stay put. They work very closely with the Catholic church and Vatican in helping rid the world of evil and pesky people that keep having run ins with the Devil. They have a young daughter that they don’t allow to go on these little trips with them, but they DO allow her to live in the house with all of their ‘relics’ that they keep from each investigation. Don’t worry though, the door is locked, they keep her with the ‘I can sleep through anything’ Grandmother and they FORBID her to go into said room, totally safe.
Now normally in films such as these, the paranormal investigators are just trying to get rich or famous. The Warrens are the real deal. Director James Wan did an excellent job of keeping the casting and CGI to a minimum with this based on a true story plot line. I was thanking my lucky stars that this film was rated R and that the actors/acting was pretty awesome.
Enter the family with a problem: The Perron’s – Family of 7 (five girls, ouch, as if PMS wasn’t enough). They move into a house that they bought from the bank so they’re not sure who used to live there or what happened that may be causing these ‘disturbances’. Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor do an excellent job of actually making the viewers give a crap about what happens to them and their family. Taylor plays Carolyn Perron, official bruise getter and overall ‘I’ll do anything for my kids’ mom. Livingston plays Roger Perron, official breadwinner and overall nice yet slightly feeble dad. They sure do make a cute couple.
Now the Perron girls all do an excellent portrayal of young female’s that are scared but not necessarily stupid. They don’t want to be left alone. They realize very quickly that the person that’s pulling on their feet when their sleeping, isn’t their bratty sister. And they soon make the brilliant decision to all sleep together downstairs in the living room as opposed to the obviously haunted upstairs bedrooms. Mind you, the evil entities haunting the house helped them come to these conclusions quite convincingly.
Now what the parents don’t seem to understand is that being alone is dangerous. Vera Farmagia is excellent in this role and has been killing it lately in all things horror and suspense (hello ‘Bates Motel’) and does a believable and un-campy job at playing a medium. She is completely believable and fearless. Being fearless can cause a lot of problems however. I’m doing my best at not giving too much away because this is maybe the best horror film I’ve seen in theaters all year, and want potential moviegoers to enjoy it as much as I did. Sure I was expecting the ‘clap clap’ hide and seek game based on the trailer, but this story goes much deeper than that.
The audience was screaming and jumping out of their seats throughout the film, and I must admit that this humble viewer and self-proclaimed ‘bad ass horror buff’ was at times, shaking in her boots.
What is so refreshing about this film is that its simplicity at its finest. Sure the director does the ol’ creaky wood, doors opening on their own and ‘holy-crap-who-is-standing-in-the-corner routine but what makes this film so fantastic is that he keeps it pure. They took a true story and didn’t over sell it. They made a movie with good writing (thank you Chad brothers), makeup and good acting and just left it at that.
For all that like thriller, suspense and a good old fashioned haunted house I suggest you see this film tonight or literally right now. Just don’t miss it or we’ll sick our creepy big weird doll on you. Everything about this film was great, the only thing I wish it had more of was conclusive answers about both families.
For those that have already seen this film or plan to, please leave your thoughts, personal haunting or possession stories in our comments section below.