THE CONJURING (2013) : REVIEW

July 26, 2013


"Something awful happened here, Ed."
I was dropdead curious when I heard the hype from the people who had seen the early screenings and the midnight shows; The Conjuring was said to be the scariest movie of 2013, that even the hunkiest man alive would whine over it. More to that, they actually provided a priest when the screening occurred, saying that this movie could cause a high disturbance for certain viewers and that they might seek the priest for a further help. I was like, "All right, this one is a challenge." And the fact that this movie was directed by James Wan who brought you the one movie that can be classified as 'frightening' in 2010 : Insidious. Also, don't forget the fact that The Conjuring was based on a true event of The Perron and Warren family (it was first called "The Warren Files" before they decided to use "The Conjuring" instead). As the warning said in the opening of the movie, that this particular event was considered to be The Warren's most frightening case which they kept it sealed .. until now. So, was it that scary?

The story took place in the 70s when Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn (Lili Taylor) Perron was just moving in to their new house with their five daughters, Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy) and April (Kyla Deaver). Their life was just finally began to settle when their beloved dog Sadie died out of nowhere. Then strange thing started to happen, from crackle sounds, door left open, weird noises, and stuffs. Short story short, The Perrons decided to ask for a help from the infamous demonologist, Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren. The Warrens agreed to help as they discovered more and more terrifying things inside the house and the history behind it.

First think to say : the hype was waaayy too high. It wasn't that scary. I know that some of you who know me might think that it's because of me, because I rarely feel scared from horror (man-made) movies, but seriously, it wasn't that scary like everyone said it was. But yes, it was great. The journey was engaging with nonstop jump-scares and terrors. It was haunting and made you feel like "What's gonna come up next?" and then booyah! Though the ghostly-encounters couldn't top Insidious's, but I was happy with the traditional (old) horror film formula with a complete mixture of scare, haunt, terror, shock and fright. And I could also feel the sense of seventies here, as the movie took time in. The pace was steady and made you sit still within the entire 112 minutes. The plot was solid, tight and efficient and it worked without too much scare-in-the-dark scenes and gore.ish CGI. Everything seemed real and 'normal' and that's what made this movie to be considered as a true horror film.

James Wan oh James Wan. With only $13 million budget, he managed to produce such an efficient, simple and straight to the point movie. I love how he erased all the 'let's do some haunting first' part and quickly emerged The Warren and their ghostbusters action, with no skeptical detected. Though Chad & Carey Hayes script felt a little bit loose sometimes, Wan's directing quickly saved it. The slow zooming definitely worked and there was some sense of haunting presented in his directing style. More to it, Joseph Bishara scores definitely helped to increase the tension; one time he played with dropdead silence and another time he shaked the entire theatre with the blaring scores playing along the exorcism scene. It was -out of doubt- making me shiver.

I can't deny that the whole storyline felt a little predictable and cliché. I'm also dissapointed on how loyal James Wan to the trailer; because he revealed too much in the trailer and the apperances in the real movie didn't feel like having it; I sometimes wished he could do better on presenting twists. The exorcism scene was profound and could be considered as a top-notch climax, but everything just sort of dropped because of the so-called 'happy ending'. And I gotta say that The Warren's personal life was distracting the main focus here and I didn't see the connection to it, especially coming from Judy Warren (Sterling Jerins). And don't get me wrong with the prologue (ehm the Annabelle doll); I was thinking it to be like The Exorcist mixed with Chucky, but then again, they fooled me. There was really no single connection between that possessed doll with the entire storyline, like what was it doing there? But if there's one thing I could say that I'm dissapointed at, it was Lorraine's background. I was just dropdead curious to know what was Lorrained experienced during her last exorcism and it really killed me that they didn't provide it bluntly. Or should I just say that they didn't provide it at all. I'm pretty sure that if they did, it would make more compelling storyline than it already was.

Great cast was the key that made this movie to be considered as a complete package. The Warrens were a kickass ghoshunter duos, with Farmiga's endearing calmness and strong will to help The Perrons and Wilson's sharp and intense look while still had some moments worrying about his beloved wife. Lili Taylor did a great job on becoming a loving mother and at the same time, a possessed woman who desperately trying to kill her own daughter. Livingston was charming with his worried and terrified look and yet still managed to look so calm and controlled at the same time. The Perron's girls were all charming and served their purposes, though sometimes I felt like 3 of them is enough rather than making a riot with five. But unfortunately, the two ghost-hunting helpers, Drew (Shannon Kook) and Brad (John Brotherton) appearances felt like a stereotype rather than actually helping the whole character building.

Finally, The Conjuring wasn't as scary as everyone told it was. It had the complete package and the feel of a true horror, but would it hang around in mind? It wouldn't. It was forgettable (except that damn doll Annabelle). Do I recommend you to watch it? Yes. Even if you're too scared to watch? Then don't haha. Now, I just can't wait to see what James Wan will do to excel himself with Insidious 2




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