REVIEW: The Conjuring (2013)

Conjuring 1 poster

The following is a quick review of The Conjuring, a James Wan film. The review was written on June 9th, 2016.

Right now, James Wan is the most promising horror movie director. He hasn’t really made a lot of wrong moves, or bad movies for that matter. I’ll be seeing the sequel to The Conjuring later today, so I can’t really evaluate The Conjuring 2 yet, but just look at what he has directed. He started the Saw-franchise, as well as the Insidious-franchises, extremely well.

The Conjuring is already a horror franchise, seeing as we already have the first spin-off (2014’s Annabelle) as well as a sequel. We can’t overlook Dead Silence, which has gotten a lot of negative reviews, but I know people that love that film too. James Wan is a terrific horror director, and The Conjuring is the closest thing he has gotten to a true masterpiece. It is terrific. 

The Conjuring is based on ‘true stories’ from the files of the legendary paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively). After having just moved into a house on Rhode Island, the Perron-family starts experiencing a string of paranormal events.

A pet suddenly dies, the clocks act up, the mother of the household (played by Lili Taylor) wakes up with bruises on her body, and one of the daughters is seeing things. The family contacts the Warrens, who quickly conclude that the house is in desperate need of an exorcism.

It takes a lot to truly terrify today’s audiences. Most people have already seen Poltergeist and The Exorcism, so when you take an old American ghost story and make a film out of it, you sometimes end up with a film that feels very unoriginal.

And sure, it isn’t like The Conjuring is the most original horror film in years. We’ve seen stories like it before. But it is incredibly well-done, and quite possibly the scariest supernatural-horror film in decades. In a sense, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does master the genre.

There are some jump-scares that will annoy you, but the mood of the film is very powerful. You will feel uneasy watching the film for the first time, and you will care about the characters. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are a great acting team, and every time they’re on the screen they demand your attention. The Warrens are likable, interesting, and the best characters in the film.

The Conjuring was the horror film that convinced me that the genre still could make true haunting horror classics. Even though it isn’t very original; it is terrifying, it is memorable, and it is rewatchable. It is the closest we have gotten to have a true new horror classic in this decade so far. The Conjuring will make a believer out of you.

9 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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