I got the pleasure last night to see the popular new horror flick, The Conjuring. Not many horror movies live up to the hype anymore. Recent examples of horror films that looked really entertaining, but turned out to be major disappointments include The Purge, The ABCs of Death, and many more. The Conjuring looks good, and it is good. It’s more than good; it’s excellent. The film reminds me of the old Amityville Horror, however I feel The Conjuring is better by miles. I always found Amityville Horror to be one of the most overrated horror films of all time; maybe even one of the most overrated films of all time, in any genre. The Conjuring is what Amityville would be if it was what history says it was.
Now don’t get me wrong, movies are a matter of taste, and one man’s masterpiece is another man’s trash. I did not care for Amityville Horror, however I loved The Conjuring. The film follows real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate a possible demonic haunting at the Perron family’s home. The Perron family has just moved into their new home and is experiencing some pretty weird phenomenon, from pictures falling off the walls to full body apparitions.
When the Warrens come to investigate the home, they immediately discover that some pretty evil spirits, including a particularly hateful spirit, haunts the house. They tell the Perron’s that it would be of no help for them to even leave the home, as the evil that haunts their house is attached to them and will follow them wherever they go. They decide the only course of action is to perform an exorcism on the house before things get even worse.
As you can probably guess, things do get much worse. To avoid spoiling the film, I will stop here. Let me just say that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson give great performances as Ed and Lorraine Warren and Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor are equally great as the Perron parents. The young actresses that portray them give all the children solid performances and director James Wan continues to cement himself as one of today’s top horror directors. The Conjuring is full of great scares and does not overdo itself. Too many horror movies today go the way of excessive gore and/or special effects; The Conjuring does not. This film stays true to my two rules of a great horror film: keep it simple and go heavy on the suspense.
If you are a fan of Amityville Horror, you will probably love this movie. If you were not a fan of Amityville, I recommend still giving this film a viewing, especially if like myself, you liked the idea of Amityville but you just didn’t like the film. Overall, I give The Conjuring five out of five stars.