Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85% (Critics) / 90% (Audience)
Directed By: James Wan
Written By: Chad and Carey Hayes
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Synopsis:Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. “The Conjuring” tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives. – (Source)
James Wan has come a long way from the gross out frights in SAW and has become one of the best directors working today at providing legit horror in horror movies. Like he did with INSIDIOUS, Wan uses top flight cinematography and a great knack for building tension to create some quality jump scares and even in the scary scenes that you know are coming from watching the trailer those scenes still are very effective.
THE CONJURING also benefits greatly from the performances of it’s two leading ladies. Vera Farmiga delivers a gentle and quiet strength as the clairvoyant paranormal investigator while Lilli Taylor is just heartwrenching to watch as the most targeted victim of the spirits in her house.
This film also has a lot of heart for the genre of movie that it is… the relationships between the members of the Perron family and the Warrens are real so you care about what happens to them and as much as this is a ghost story it also a story about the power of the love between husbands and wives and mothers and their children.
I would have preferred to see the body count be higher; a horror movie where there is minimal death just feels like a cop out to me.
The ending of this movie felt like the ending of an episode of THE BRADY BUNCH…it was just way too pat and after-school special seeming to this reviewer.
Final Verdict: A really good ghost tale that ranks right up there with a classic like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR that produces many creepy/scary scenes and great performances from its two female leads. A ho-hum ending put a slight damper on the overall enjoyment of the movie but I still found THE CONJURING to be one of the better entries in the modern horror catalog.