Based on a true story and set in 1971,The Conjuring tells the story of Carolyn and Roger Perron(Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston)who along with their five daughters have moved into a new house on the countryside of Rhode Island. While the Perron's are in their new house,the family discovers that the them and the house are being haunted by ghosts and evil spirits. With nowhere to turn,the Perron's ask for the help of Lorraine and Ed Warren(Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson),paranormal investigators to get rid of the evil spirits and save their family.
The Conjuring is an amazing and frightening Supernatural Horror film that right from the beginning puts viewers on edge giving people a scary and emotional experience that no one will ever forget. The Conjuring is also an old school Horror movie in the truest sense because it's a movie that takes us back to the Supernatural Horror films of the 1970s and 80s combining a ghost story with a demonic possession story mixing together and combining elements of classics such as The Shining(1980),Poltergeist(1982),The Haunting(1963)with The Exorcist(1973)and The Evil Dead(1982). And While The Conjuring doesn't nessarily reinvent the Supernatural Horror sub genre,the movie gives a fresh and entertaining take on the haunted house genre. Another thing the is old school about The Conjuring is the movie's scares and suspense which are effective and done with great timing and detail with intense build-up that grabs you by the throat. Director James Wan uses simple things to make the film creepy whether it's someone or something knocking on wood,moving doors,showing things from a distance giving viewers a sense of dread. The jump scares are not just in The Conjuring because it's a Horror movie but are in the film because they have meaning and power. Another thing that I love about The Conjuring is the way the movie uses atmosphere to make the movie scary using the darkness,haunting sounds and the characters reactions to the chaos going on all around which adds to the film's dark tone and the movie works greatly without blood and gore(although there is a couple of bloody moments in the film). Don't get me wrong while I love blood and gore in Horror movies,The Conjuring didn't need or require it because the whole film is about messing with you mentally than physically. You can almost say that The Conjuring is a continuation of James Wan's other haunted house movie before this one the terrific Insidious which shares some similarities with this film. At 112 minutes The Conjuring moves at a steady pace and there is never a dull moment and when watch the film you will be craving for more. One of the great things about The Conjuring is that this film is more of a character driven Horror movie like The Exorcist,Poltergeist or The Sixth Sense because with The Conjuring there is enough time and length for viewers to get to know the main characters in the Warren's and Parron's. While we don't get to know about the past history of the two couples but we see enough to feel sympathy for the Warren's and Parron's because when the scary stuff starts to happen we want them to survive. What makes the Warren's and Parron's great characters is that they don't feel like Slasher movie stock characters waiting to get killed off in the first 15 minutes but feel like real people dealing with a drastic situation. I love that the movie takes it's time with build-up not only with the scares and suspense but also with the characters which in my opinion makes the movie effective and makes The Conjuring a great and remarkable film. The ending of The Conjuring is terrific,scary and at the same time surprising because it's open ended leaving viewers with questions rather than answers.
The cast is outstanding. Vera Farminga and Patrick Wilson are excellent and memorable as Lorraine and Ed Warren,the paranormal investigators. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston are brilliant as Carolyn and Roger Parron,the couple who's house is haunted. Shanley Caswell(Andrea),Hayley McFarland(Nancy),Joey King(Christine),Mackenzie Foy(Cindy),Klya Deaver(April)and Sterling Jerins(Judy Warren)do wonderful jobs as the kids in the film. Shannon Kook(Drew)and John Brotherton(Brad)give good performances as well.
The direction by James Wan is brilliant and stylish,with Wan always moving the camera with tracking shots,hand-held movements and creative angles giving the movie a creepy and frightening atmosphere. Great job,Wan.
The score by Joseph Bishara is terrific,haunting and intense and matches the movie's scary energy. Memorable score,Bishara.
In final word,if you love Horror Films,Supernatural movies or James Wan,I highly suggest you see The Conjuring,an excellent,scary and suspenseful Horror film that is James Wong at his best. Highly Recommended. 10/10.