It’s being touted as one of the best horror films to be released in recent times, and I would have to say I agree. Set in the 70’s The Conjuring claims to be “based on a true story”. It begins with a short tale about a haunted doll called Annabelle, it’s through this story that we’re introduced to Lorraine (Vera Farminga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson). According to the disclaimer at the start they specialize in paranormal activities, Lorraine is a psychic and Ed is the only non-priest demonologist recognized by the Catholic Church. The disclaimer certainly made what happened in the film seem just that bit creepier.
With Annabelle done with for now we cut to the tale of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) Roger (Ron Livingston) and their five daughters. They move into a new house, and that’s when everything starts to kick off. I really loved how the setting, the clothes, the technology really captured the time period it was set in. It starts off relatively slowly but when the hauntings start it gets very creepy very fast. There are some parts of the film that are very clichéd like the haunted doll, the leg pulls, the child talking to an invisible friend, the cold rooms, but the genuinely creepy parts more than make up for it.
The ghosts and demons that we are confronted with aren’t overly scary when we finally get to see them. But you will probably be watching from behind your hands anyway. It’s more about the build-up, the relentlessness, the very real fear that good might not triumph. It’s hard to say what happens without giving too much away but there are some genuinely scary jump out of your seat parts. There was no real lull or boring parts, and it was an exciting watch right from the start.
While I enjoyed the film I don’t think it’s going to become a cult classic. It definitely has something that all the other recent films in the genre are missing though and it’s well worth a watch.