The Conjuring

the conjuring

  • Wow. If ever a film was destined to have me hate it, it was this one. First, I saw it in two sittings, not one. Seeing the first half about a month before I saw the second. Next, I don’t like horror flicks. Much at all. And yet this one was so good that it broke down all of my barriers.
  • The acting is universally fantastic. Vera Farmiga is very, very good as Lorraine, just as Lilli Taylor is great as Carolynn. Once again Joey King (Christine) stands out for me. King is not given much material or particularly much screen time (the central characters are Ed {Patrick Wilson}, Carolynn, Lorraine and Roger {Ron Livingston}), but King works magic with the time she’s given. She expresses joy, terror, frustration, etc so effectively.
  • Some of the best use of audio I have observed in a long time. The audio (not the music, but the rest of the audio) provided almost all of the film’s best tension (when pictures fall off stair walls seconds before you see the cause of the noise, etc). I suspect this one is in line for some Sound Editing or Sound Mixing awards. It is certainly my favorite for the year.
  • Some scenes get a bit repetitive. How many times do we need to see a Perron family member in the basement? Or exploring the mysterious armoire? Or whatever.
  • Final scene is so well performed by Farmiga, Taylor, Livingston and Wilson that I was totally immersed, wasn’t thinking about the parallels to The Exorcist or the silliness of it all.
  • Lorraine’s clairvoyance might have been treated a bit too literally for me. I’d prefer there be more subtlety/mystery to her art.
  • The subplot involving the Warrens’ daughter (Judy) fell flat for me. Maybe it was an attempt to humanize the Warrens, in which case I understand why director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell included it even if I don’t like their execution, but—really—I felt like Judy’s inclusion was more an attempt to set up a sequel than to further the story of this first film.
  • I thought the monsters/demons/ghosts were much scarier when implied than when seen.
  • All in all, though, an excellent flick. One of the best I have seen as of August.
  • Final Grade: B+

2 thoughts on “The Conjuring

  1. Great review! I just watched this movie for the second time, and I have to say that I am very exited to see what else James Wan can do. I liked Insidious too, but The Conjuring was a lot better. Definitely one of my favourite horror movies, and I’m not normally a fan of the “haunted house” theme.

    • First, thanks for stopping by.

      Wan definitely did great work with this particular film. I think the first Insidious was one half a good film, one quarter a strange one and one quarter bad, but he doesn’t make any similar mistakes with The Conjuring. It is tense and scary throughout, something that is particularly difficult with haunted house stories (normally I don’t really like them either).

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