James Wan once again returns to his Horror roots directing back to back horror movies with The Conjuring closely followed by Insidious Chapter 2. 2011’s Insidious was undeniably one of the biggest horror movies of the year and I absolutely enjoyed it . Even to the point that I started recommending it to people. Insidious had atmospheric horror, and it had almost everything going for it, everything except a lackluster ending which it had to include for an obvious sequel. Nonetheless James Wan knows his movies; be it Saw, Dead Silence or Death Sentence, entertainment is guaranteed.
His latest offering The Conjuring is nothing but a haunted house movie albeit following the ‘old wine new bottle’ routine. If you are horror movie fan you’ll instantly feel in familiar territory here. We’ve had more than a handful of them, the best being The Amityville Horror, The Haunting, The Shining, Poltergeist, the list goes on. So what’s new here? Actually nothing, as soon as the middle-class family moves into their new house, you know things are gonna get awry. It starts off with a very slow first act and they dump all the noisy, in-your-face stuff towards the finale as the demons and violent spirits takes a toll.
I’d been hearing a lot of positive reviews about this one, some even quoting that its one of the scariest movies ever to hit the screen or even that the visuals will be stuck in your head making you paranoid with every creak you hear in your house post-watching this. I can’t say the same though, yes it did give me jolts and ample amounts of anxiety but the visuals just didn’t have any effect on me. I forgot about it as soons as I came outta the theatre. There are a lot of memorable scenes though made possible with some fantastic camera work. I suppose I had my expectations way too high reading those rave reviews which made my experience so….so yeah even this one could be hampering your experience should you choose to watch the movie.
The plot-direction is one among the high points here, balancing the events from both families, The Perrons who are the victims of the haunting and The Warrens who are the ghost hunters. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston as the Perrons did convincing acting. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed Warren delivered splendid performances. Vera, being my favorite from The Orphan and loads of other movies, was no less impressive here. The kids were another addition to the brilliant casting, there were five of them and it seemed too much of a crowd initially but the ones who were terrified victims and dragged to the end did an astounding job, among them Joey King who played a younger version of Talia in The Dark Knight Rises gave a noteworthy performance here as Christine. Ah well now the about the unholy beings, they were terrifying indeed, thanks to good makeup and less-screen time. James Wan did go for the right amount of ‘the less you see the more you’ll be scared’ formula and it did do wonders. There was this particularly awesome scene which involves one perched atop a cupboard.
Clearly haunted house horror genre aren’t my cup of tea unless its another Cabin in The Woods which had tons of novelty (yet again I wouldn’t call it scary). I was more scared of twitchy otherworldly beings like Mama, Samara from The Ring or the ones from The Grudge but for others though, The Conjuring might just satiate their terrifying needs as evident from the pretty lady behind me who kept gasping more than needed. The Conjuring is a well directed, brilliantly acted horror movie with mild scares that could be enjoyed the same at home with a good pair of headphones. As for me I’m gonna wait for Insidious Chapter 2 and see if its got some real scares.