For a movie being advertised as directed by the maker of Saw, The Conjuring is happily short on gore and that awful brand of horror films — torture porn. Director James Wan apparently shot the movie like the horror movies of the Seventies — the marked lack of special effects, the return to old-fashioned creepiness and solid performances by the cast deliver on the promise of terrifying the daylights out of you.
Based on a true story (don’t we love that?), The Conjuring follows the events of 1971 when the Perron family — Roger and Carolyn and their five daughters were troubled by a malevolent spirit in their farmhouse in Rhode Island. They are helped by renowned demonologists Ed and Lorrain Warren. The movie faithfully follows the horror movie template providing thrills and scares at opportune moments. Happy family moves into house with evil history, the dog senses something (animal lovers will be distressed), doors creak and slam, a cellar with secrets, the youngest child with an imaginary friend, they are all present and accounted for. Even when you know where Wan is taking you with a scene, you still jump out of your skin — full marks for music with its mandatory creep chords and make up, which conjures up some pretty mean demons.
The actors Vera Farmiga (Lorraine), Patrick Wilson (Ed), Ron Livingston (Roger), Lili Taylor (Carolyn) have delivered sound, sympathetic performances. There is nothing to dislike about the film; even the nervous giggles brought about by harking back to the Exorcist spoofs (remember Father Mayii?) come with the territory.
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Director: James Wan
Storyline: Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren are called in to help a family being terrorised by a hateful spirit
Bottomline: Good, solid, old-fashioned scares