Review: The Conjuring / Cert: 15 / Director: James Wan / Screenplay: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes / Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Famiga, Ron Livingston, Lilli Taylor / Release Date: August 2nd
If there’s a movie that must be seen this year, it’s The Conjuring. James Wan, writer/director of the original Saw, a movie that went on to spawn a successful, worldwide franchise, and 2010's highly acclaimed Insidious, has struck lightening once again with this haunted house/demonic possession horror film.
Hard-working Roger Perron (Livingston), his wife, Carolyn (Taylor), and their five daughters move into what seems to be a nice, rural home, only to accidentally discover a hidden cellar unleashing an inhuman, malevolent spirit that wreaks havoc on them. All the clocks stop at 3:07 AM, creaking doors and closets open and close for no apparent reason, one of the daughters displays bizarre sleepwalking behaviour, there are unnerving moments of being touched or followed by an unseen force and unexplained bruises on Carolyn’s body. Enlisting the aid of demonologist/parapsychologist couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren (brilliantly played by Wilson and Farmiga) and their team, they discover that the three main staples of demonic forces are at work; infestation, oppression and possession are real in this house and it becomes a race against time to banish the evil force before it destroys the entire family, including the Warrens.
Casting in this film is perfect. Each actor plays their part with solid believability, echoing the tone of The Exorcist and Robert Wise’s The Haunting. The viewer is completely absorbed in a story peppered with genuine, unexpected, bump in the night scares that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Composer Joseph Bishara’s moody score complements the evil tone, giving a delicious, unnerving flavour of horror, while Julie Berghoff’s production design creates an innocent Norman Rockwell/Americana look that shifts intensely dark. All in all, bravo, Mr Wan.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10