I just finished watching one of this years big horror films, The Conjuring. It’s a highly tense movie about the family Perron who moves into an old house which has some unseen residents since before their arrival. They seek help and come into contact with exorcists and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, a couple who will try to figure out the mystery behind this unsettled house.
This movie is unsettling straight from the get go and I really had a hard time finding any comfort during the duration of the film. It’s filled with successful jump-scare suspense and reality detached camera work. Also so many scary knocking sounds, scratching and other unwanted noises hard for sane ears to handle with ease and a cool exterior.
My eyes didn’t leave the screen for about the first 45 minutes, which amounts to almost half the movie. I desperately needed to take a break if just for a while and I walked away from the frozen screen at a safe local in the timeline. I made some tea, had some human interaction (if just to make sure someone was around), and just before resuming the film I thought “hey, let’s turn all the lights out”. I unpaused the movie and couldn’t take even a couple of minutes with this beast in the dark. I really had to force myself downstairs feeling the adrenaline pulse through my veins and the struggle between my brain convincing me that nothing was going to happen and my body just wanting to flip the switch and flee to the couch and rest safely under my blanket.
The film was directed by the man behind films such as Insidious and the Saw series, James Wan. I’ve not seen Insidious but I’ve heard some good things, and I couldn’t be bothered with any Saw films past the first (I actually liked the first one). But here James Wan has made something truly great. I might have disliked the look of the movie would it have been used in another film, but here it works fairly well. It uses fairly long sequences of the camera moving unhindered of gravity and feels at times like the kind of soaring camera work J.J. Abrams seems fond of, but it works great here in the demoniacally poses world it doesn’t seem overtly show-ey to have the camera shooting upside-down. David Mamet curses the invention of the steady-cam as it let’s the camera operator follow the character instead of filming the character’s actions. But just as when I almost couldn’t walk down the stairs to turn on the lights you want to have it take time and feel every step down to the bottom floor.
In the cast of the movie we see Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson portraying the Warren couple and Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston the new home owners. They do a great job in the film, I really can’t think of any weak point in this movie. Even the child actors in the roles of the five Parron daughters make you feel their dread of the forces contained within their new house.
I think it’s a great movie and it’s currently my number one movie of the year just above Gravity. What do you know, their where some great movies that got released in 2013.