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Review The Conjuring (2013): Flawed but extremely effective!

genre: horror

With James Wan at the helm I just knew I would enjoy the Conjuring because he is very old school minded when it comes to horror. He likes to build up tension and dread and not replace it by gore or something else something you see more and more done in contemporary horror films. 

The Conjuring does not waste time to bring the creepiness to the screen because from the first scenes we get a taste of what is to come. And for the most part it never lets up. Especially in the first half hour you feel this sense of dread that is so tense and compelling that anything is possible. It's so captivating that glues you to the screen even if you don't really want to see what is going to happen. Then the dread is let go of for quite a while and the focus is on the Ghost Hunters played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. We learn enough about them to know what they are about but there is a lot behind their story that does not get discussed properly only adding to one of the mysterious events. And undoubtedly will be a huge story line in the sequel that already is in the works. This may be a little too much because quite a lot is happening already and might be a little distracting but is not bothersome. However when the couple make their entrance in the house the level of tension is not the same as it was as in the first thirty minutes. Still enough going on to keep it effectively scary but not until the final that again puts back the dread. I wished they would have put in more of the back story because for me that just adds to the experience. Here it is mentioned and then sort of ignored. But James Wan is skilled enough to keep a certain level of suspense through other means. I have to admit sometimes a little too obvious and loud but even then he manages to make it eerie. 

Is The Conjuring the perfect horror movie? No, it is flawed but extremely effective. I would take this over rubbish like Paranormal Activity or Cloverfield any day. A lot of thought is put in the build up of tension and atmosphere. And to me that is most essential for these kinds of horror films. 

So overall without a doubt one of the best horror movies made this year and makes me really anxious about the sequel to Insidious. *

*Mrs. P.  screamed like hell. She kinda lost faith in a lot of contemporary horror films but this   one she liked. So you just know it has to be good.

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Dan O. said...

A good time, despite it not being a very scary time to say the least. Good review Michael.

chrichtonsworld.com said...

Thank you Dan. O.

Mirza Ghalib said...

The Conjuring gives an adrenaline rush to your body with few scary scenes and spooky moments. Only I wish , it could have been more. Couple of scenes will give you a jilt - The scenes where evil starts unraveling on the family , the moment Warrens enters the house and realizes the evil spirit latching on the family and finally the last exorcism scene has been filmed brilliantly. Cinematoography is good. Art direction is enduring. Editing is tight. It is Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are the soul of the film especially Farmiga. She is fill of expression and gives in a great performance as Lorraine. Overall , a spooky thriller which has some scary scenes to entertain you along with strong direction , powerful screenplay and outstanding performances. A Must watch 3.5/5

chrichtonsworld.com said...

@Mirza Ghalib
Oh yes I do agree. It starts with a bang and then it kinda waits. But I agree the acting is top notch.




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