‘The Conjuring’ is bound to creep anybody out

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - February 09, 2015

Now available on DVD & Blu-Ray, The Conjuring while having a distinct lack of actual conjuring in it is a bone chilling ode to genuinely moody and atmospheric horror that doesn’t need torture porn or buckets of blood to get its point across.

Based on a true story, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their newly purchased farm house.  Forced to confront this powerful entity that wants to everyone who steps in that house harm, the Warrens find themselves caught up in the most terrifying case of their entire lives.

Don’t look behind you…

Best known for the Saw franchise, director James Wan has stepped up his game with The Conjuring to craft an effective and atmospheric cinematic event that is reminiscent of movies like The Changeling, Don’t Look Now, The Exorcist and even some of the creepier moments ever put to screen by the master himself Alfred Hitchcock.   With some amazing camera work, using long shots along with excellent use of focus, lighting and framing, the tension was ramped up far more than I ever expected.  It was never a film that was going for cheap jump scares and well traveled storytelling scare tactics, instead it went out of its way to make you feel as uneasy as humanly possible, there were no cheap reveals in order to show off a funky looking terrifying entity, but it kept us on edge with exceptionally played moments.  Screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes follow the horror mold to a tee, making for an incredibly earnest experience that make it easier to buy into and while the dialogue was bordering on corny at times, the film allows us to laugh when they want us too and be on the edge of our seat feeling the dread of it all only a minute or two later.  Along with a stunning musical score that keeps you glued to the screen until the last couple of minutes of screen time, this ode to some of the more classic psychological horrors in recent memory keeps us transfixed as this terrifying yarn unfolds on the screen and seeps into our skin.

Our paranormal investigators Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga do a wonderful job of playing it all 100% straight allowing us to get wrapped up in this incredible story.  Their characters have to play it as emotionless but slowly letting the plight of the family wear on them both to the point where their characters were equally as terrified as the family who has to live in this house with this dark force tormenting them all.  Lily Taylor was an inspired choice to play Carolyn Perron as she never plays the role as a victim, no one in this film is truly helpless but in the face of a force that can’t even begin to understand she brings a genuine and real sense of terror to the role.  Ron Livingston was fine as her husband Roger Perron and of their five daughters many people will recognize Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland and Joey King from the likes of The Descendants, the TV show Lie To Me and this summer’s White House Down respectively.  From top to bottom this entire ensemble truly accepted and bought into the nature of the project which only enhanced how damn effective it all already was.

I have no doubt, that when all is said and done, The Conjuring will in time, get mentioned with some of the iconic tension filled classics that I mentioned above, because it doesn’t only just generate some fun, scary moments…it will make you pause the next time a door creeks, or you hear a weird noise coming from the basement, it really stays with you.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

The picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are first rate as expected and the special feature include two behind the scenes featurettes and a making of look at The Conjuring.

 

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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