Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Movie Review: "The Conjuring" (2013)

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Movie"The Conjuring"
Director: James Wan
Year: 2013
Rating: PR
Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

The Perron family has just moved into their newly purchased home, putting every cent they owned into the house. During the first night in their new home, strange things start happening and all the clocks stop at 3:07 AM. As the days progress, more and more weird and traumatizing events take place, from random clapping and banging noises, to objects moving on their own. These events seem to become increasingly violent and occur more frequently. Carolyn (Lili Taylor), the mother, attends a lecture given by Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), who are demonologists and paranormal investigators. Carolyn approaches them and asks if they would be willing to check out their house. Skeptical of any goings on, the Warrens reluctantly agree and soon find themselves in the midst of something horrifying and unearthly.

Based on true events, "The Conjuring" is a critically acclaimed horror movie from 2013. It is directed by James Wan, who has become a horror movie wizard as of late. This film accomplishes what most modern exorcism movies have been unable to do: it genuinely scares the crap out of viewers. From the creepy Annabelle doll showcased throughout the film to the clapping demons in the night, "The Conjuring" sets a dark and eerie tone that can really be felt by the audience. Sure, it uses jump scares and loud noises to startle its viewers, but unlike other modern day horrors, Wan's previous works included, they are effective here and don't happen all the time. We never feel like they are out of place and come in addition to a lot of slow burning tension building from the start. There is also a lot of creepy, demonic imagery with a varying group of ghosts and demons that torment this family.

Another factor that helps this horror be as successful as it is is its R rating. We say it time and time again: PG-13 rated horror films are crap, with most being sorry excuses for films at all. These pictures almost always remove any trace of scares, resort to cheap ploys and tropes, and simply slap the "horror" label on it and call it a day. Despite no foul language, no nudity, no sex, and no drug use, it achieves its R rating on fright factor and disturbing imagery alone. The acting is good from all the actors, involved especially from Lili Taylor, who has many changes in her mood throughout the entire thing. There's also a ton of good makeup and effects work that helps elevate it above many others in its genre. Finally, the soundtrack also helps this be as successful as it is. It wholly drives the plot, in our opinion. It sets the proper mood for tension and terror with its erratic, jagged edge.

A sequel to "The Conjuring" comes out this week, and while we hope magic can strike twice for the franchise, we're honestly not holding our breath. STOP, HOLLYWOOD. Don't fix what ain't broken.

**NOTE: This review has been carried over from my other blog, Lolo Loves Scents, and edited to reflect our thoughts upon second viewing.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.510
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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