REVIEW - The Conjuring
Director: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
Runtime: 112 minutes
Genre: Horror/ Thriller
Directed by horror whiz - James Wan, 'The Conjuring' takes all the usual elements of exorcism based horror movies and rehashes them superbly, resulting in a film that is not only terrifying but also a well-made one. Wan, who previously made the gore-fest - Saw and was single handedly responsible for glorifying the torture porn genre in the 2000s goes to other extreme and weaves a very tasteful horror film that takes a subtle, quiet approach to induce scares rather than the loud, bloody, way most Hollywood horror films do.
Claiming to be based on a true-life story (more of a marketing gimmick than anything else), the film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as married couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, a pair of ghost busters renowned for their extensive research and expertise on the supernatural. In 1971, they're recruited by Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who, after moving into their new home in Rhode Island, find themselves and their five daughters being terrorised by strange smells, unexplained bruises, and visions of dead people.
Sure the last half hour feels heavily borrowed from The Exorcist and Poltergeist, but it's all done with such style (innovative/ creative camera angles), you'll forget you've seen it before. Despite being an old-school formula-driven spook fest, this film scares the bejesus out of you. In an age when the horror genre is doling out so many humdrum movies, this superbly crafted James Wan film stands out and deserves all the accolades.
Fine acting also helps. We haven’t seen enough of Vera Farmiga since her Oscar-nominated performance in Up In The Air. She brings a controlled anxiety to the narrative that reminds one pleasurably of Nicole Kidman in The Others. Lili Taylor is another remarkable and under-rated acting talent. She has the ability to run a gamut of emotions.
Watch out for the hide and seek sequence.