INTRODUCTION. Ever since one of my peers caught this at the EIFF in June, I’ve been looking forward to general release. Horror films are tricky; my favourites (for better or worse) have been the classics: Rosemary’s Baby, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining. Trailers for The Conjuring struck me as bland but I invested some faith in somebody else’s opinion- and was rewarded.
CHARACTERS. Two couples, five daughters, a sheriff, a photographer and several dead people. How can this go wrong? In many ways, perhaps, but I’m fairly certain director James Wan avoided most of them. Wilson and Farmiga possess great chemistry as married supernatural investigators, pulling off their odd vocation with credibility and style. The Perron family are more grounded in their energy- refreshing to watch, actually, in bringing the 1960s to life with a slew of dated music and slang. From central to side, you’re rooting for them to pull through. Also: props to writers Chad and Carey Hayes as this film more than suffices the Bechdel Test.
STORY. A weaker component, the plot patters away as slightly predictable on the overall arc yet deliciously startling in its individual scenes. What I enjoyed was the characters’ complete belief in these supernatural elements as well as their great conviction. A refreshing change from incredulous, weaker reactions to horror. There are minor stories/relationships happening within the larger plot, all which are incorporated quite well. Some might find that the movie takes a while to get going- an initially slow pace that (rest assured) picks up towards the middle.
CONCLUSION. The Conjuring isn’t a bag of bloody thrills and chainsaw massacres. It is horrific in an approach that is paced and tasteful. If you liked The Orphanage or The Others, you’ll be sure to appreciate this. Go on and treat yourself to a good scare.
CHARACTERS: 9/10 STORY: 6.5/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 6/10 OVERALL: 7.5/10