The Conjuring Review: Simply Horrifying

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Somewhere around the one hour mark of The Conjuring I realized I was in the fetal position in my chair. I took a deep breath, chuckled to myself and thought “It’s just a movie!”. Two minutes later I was back in the fetal position and didn’t budge until the end credits.

It’s been a long wait for the next surprise hit horror film. Trailers for movies in this genre look virtually identical so it’s hard to actually pick out which ones are going to be good.

Well, The Conjuring is well worth your time. Unless you scare easily, in which case you will be undergoing what feels like an eternity of non-stop door creeks, whispers, loud knocks, and every other horror trope that makes up your nightmares.

The film follows the supposedly true story (which I will not be looking further into) of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively) who must help the Perron family eradicate the demonic forces that dwell in their home.

Yes, you’ve heard that story before; but amazingly, The Conjuring never crosses the line into cliche. It uses every trick on the book, more than once even, but to great effect.

So while the film doesn’t break any boundaries in the genre, it does everything right, making for the most effective film of its kind in recent memory.

Perhaps the early 1970s setting has something to do with that. This film has the look and feel of a ’70s horror movie, borrowing cues from The Exorcist and Poltergeist. There’s no CGI monster or attempt to humanize the evil spirits. Director James Wan (SawInsidious) took the less-is-more approach, creating an old fashioned scare-fest that will certainly keep you up at night.

The Conjuring is such a welcome surprise. Okay, back to compulsively making sure there’s nothing under my bed. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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