Horror films are both the cheapest and riskiest movies to make in today’s world. Thanks to films like “Paranormal Activity”, we’re experiencing a resurgence of paranormal horror in the film industry, including “The Conjuring” from director James Wan (“Insidious”, “Saw”).
“The Conjuring” is based on a previously hidden case file from the records of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family, the parents played by Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor, who are being terrorized by a mysterious entity residing in a Rhode Island farmhouse.
The first thing that I have to say about this film is that it manages to strike a nice balance between jump scares and general eeriness when it comes to building it’s suspense, something that is very hard to accomplish in this day and age. However, there are a few aspects of the film that I take issue with.
Firstly, it would have played to the film’s strengths if it had narrowed the focus on one set of characters as opposed to both.
I mention this because there are certain scenes in the film that, given the structure, feel a tad out of place and unnecessary. While they were indeed scary or at the very least unnerving, they don’t really add that much to the overall conclusion. On top of that, it also causes the beginning to feel kind of slow, as it takes a while before the two parties meet.
The storyline would have better flow if the film focused on the Warrens and allowed the audience learn the details of the haunting at the same time as they do. This would be more in line with how the film’s advertised.
The second issue I have with the film is that it does have some genuinely cheesy moments.
Some moments have the characters deliver clumsy exposition and information that they couldn’t have logically received during the moments where they “received” it. On top of that, the music can also be over-the-top at times, as it doesn’t allow the creepy moments enough time to sink in before a fairly obnoxious musical swell comes in to tell you that you need to be freaked out.
Other than those gripes, I can definitely say that I found the film to be enjoyable, as it alternates the usual jump scares with moments of genuine creepiness.
The effects in the film are incredibly well done and on a level similar to the effects seen in films such as “The Exorcist.” While the beginning is slow and a tad boring, everything builds up to a pretty intense climax that keeps you engaged until the end credits. If your looking to be terrified this summer, then this is the film for you. On my personal scale, I give “The Conjuring” a 4/5.