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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review - The Conjuring

The Conjuring is the latest from James Wan (Saw, Insidious) and instead of continuing with the torture porn gore we are being plagued with, Wan takes an old school approach to the traditional horror film and deliver's the creepiest film since Mama.

Set in the 1970's (and apparently based on a true story?) the film follows the Perron family mother Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and father Roger (Ron Livingston) who move their five girls into an old farmhouse. When some strange things start happening in the house, Carolyn enlists the help of famous paranormal investigators Lorraine (Verma Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren to get to the bottom of what is happening.
I am not going into detail about the plot as there are a lot of surprises and twists that I don't want to ruin.

Horror films have been a complete mixed bag in the last few years, with rare gems like Mama and Insidious popping up from time to time, but nothing directed at a mainstream horror audience that actually delivered. Fortunately this film does that, initially when I saw this film I was extremely disappointed. It wasn't the film that I thought it was going to be, it wasn't a gory horror film that I was expecting. Instead I got a truly terrifying and chilling horror story that used a cohesive and intricate plot. The movie spends the first half building the characters, making you care about them, this is something that so many horror films miss.

Each and every one of the girls has a story that will interest you, as well as the two parents struggling to make ends meet and look after their family. This goes hand in hand with the Warren's who themselves have a child that is struggling to be accepted with her parents gone so much. So much work and effort has gone into the story and it clearly shows on screen.

In the second half of the film all hell breaks loose and using the technique of the less you see, the scarier it gets is used and it gets full on. The audience was jumping, screaming and if you have seen the trailer the truly terrifying hide and clap will send shivers down your spine.

Acting wise there is not a bad performance to be seen in this film, everyone puts on a convincing and stellar performance in particular Farmiga and Wilson play the part of the Warren's perfectly. The haunted and tortured couple who are para-normal investigators, while juggling a young daughter is incredibly touching and will cement their roles in the undoubtable future of this franchise.

Horror buffs expecting a bloody gore fest will be disappointed, but if you like frights and old school horror charm, you will fall in love with this film just as I did. The Conjuring is one of the most promising horror films I have seen in the last few years and is worth catching at the movies, especially in a full cinema!

Review by Alaisdair Dewar

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