Review - The Conjuring

The Conjuring (2013), R, 112 minutes - In the two years that I have been with my fiance, I have become much more open to the horror genre.  I've admittedly always been a bit of a pansy when it comes to the scary stuff and generally avoided them in the past.  I'm still not so hot on the gory scare, but the tense, suspenseful, thrilling scare I'm not just OK with, but generally enjoy.

If you looked at our DVR on any given day, you would most likely find a couple of paranormal investigation-themed shows.  They are something that we are intrigued by.  So between The Conjuring being based on the case files of real life Paranormal Investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Lorraine consulted on the film), and its getting high praise as a really scary film, Alisa and I decided to check it out earlier this week.

In short, The Parren family moves into an old Rhode Island farm house in 1971 and shortly thereafter begin experiencing strange occurrences.  The family members are effected in different ways.  The mother Carolyn (Lili Taylor) wakes up with bruises all over her body.  One of the daughters feels something tugging on her feet in the middle of the night.  Another daughter sleep walks and bangs her head on and old wardrobe.  The youngest daughter begins playing with an 'imaginary' friend.  Roger, the father (Ron Livingston), always seems to come across the after effects of these occurrences and as they continue to get worse, he and Carolyn seek out the help of the Warren's (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine respectively).

The Conjuring has a couple of things going for it: a solid cast that includes Wilson, Farmiga, Taylor, Livingston, and Joey King (seen earlier this summer in White House Down), and it is directed by the creator of the Saw franchise, James Wan.  Luckily for me, Wan purposely set out to make a scary film that wasn't gory (as discussed on The Nerdist Podcast episode from July 17, 2013).  He succeeded.  He made a film that causes you to care about the characters involved and that provides jolts and loud noises at just the right times.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was as scary as we had heard, but it definitely has its moments.  I wonder if my feeling that way is due to our regular watching of paranormal investigation shows?  Maybe they have slightly desensitized us to the type of scare that The Conjuring employs.  It could also be that once something is talked up the way The Conjuring's scare factor was, I tend to expect the worst and when it isn't as dramatic as my imagination, it doesn't seem so bad.  In any event, The Conjuring is a well made thriller/horror film based on supposedly true events.  Believe what you will about the realities of the paranormal, but they continue to provide a creepy source of entertainment.


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