Having been a huge horror fan for most of my life, The Conjuring was a must see. I loved the last Wan/Wilson film, Insidious, quite a bit. I felt that it was a return to a more minimalist, truly scary horror film a la The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror. That is an element that has been missing from horror for longer than I can remember.

The Conjuring starts out with an account of the Annabelle Doll story, which is very creepy on its own, and transitions to the “true” story of the Perron family of Rhode Island. The large family buys an old farmhouse next to a lake. Very quickly things start to go south with no shortage of creepy happenings involving malevolent spirits. Famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren are asked to investigate the case and the rest is literally history.

James Wan is a very talented director who, having come from the low budget film world, employs more practical, realistic effects as opposed to ruining the film with CGI. He paints a very vivid and terrifying cinematic picture. His style is very effective in a film like this using creepy lighting and vintage 70’s style wide angle zooms to set an ominous and uneasy mood that doesn’t let up for the length of the film.

This “true” story film is very effectively executed. A great director backed by a solid cast makes this film a great experience, if not a foreboding and nerve wracking one. It is well worth your hard earned money. 4/5


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