Not many horror movies are released in the summer, the season generally reserved for loud action movies and crude comedies. But everyone’s talking about The Conjuring, the haunted-house-slash-demonic-possession movie that might be predictable to horror fans, but is still intense.
The Conjuring follows two families. The Warrens are paranormal researchers: Ed (Patrick Wilson) is a demonologist, and wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) is clairvoyant. The Parrens have just moved into a Rhode Island farmhouse they think is haunted. After several frightening incidents involving their five young daughters, the Parrens enlist the Warrens to help figure out what’s wrong with their home. They bought the house from the bank, so they don’t realize just how much disturbing and demonic goings-on have occurred on the property. If the Warrens are going to banish the demons that haunt the land and threaten to possess Parren matriarch Carolyn (Lil Taylor), they’re going to need all the strength they can…well, conjur.
The Conjuring is one of those movies that was promoted as an allegedly true story. A lot of these movies are really works of fiction — one of the most noted being The Amityville Horror, another famous case the Warrens were involved in. But according to oldest Parren daughter Andrea, this movie was actually pretty accurate. The movie’s trailer claims this case was so disturbing, the Warrens kept the details hidden until now. And Rolling Stone called it “summer’s scariest movie” and says it received its R rating, despite the lack of language, violence, or sex, simply because it’s so terrifying.
But The Conjuring doesn’t have much that horror fans haven’t seen before. Bumps in the night, loud, creepy music, and a familiar setup. This is one of those movies that’s effective not because of concept, but execution. Director James Wan is also responsible for Insidious and Dead Silence, which use the same creepy atmosphere to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. This isn’t a movie that will break down any barriers (like Wan’s other popular franchise, Saw, did for violent “torture porn”). But it is intense and frightening, and if you’re looking for a good, creepy movie this summer, it’s worth a look.
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