The Conjuring: Haunted House Horror Based on Real Events
Australian-born filmmaker, James Wan – of Saw and Insidious fame – is back, painting his latest horror-project with a truly unnerving atmosphere. Carried with an air of simplicity and austerity, this latest supernatural, haunted-house tale struts on relatively familiar ground, but still has the desired effect.
Set in the early 70’s and supposedly based on actual events, The Conjuring’s focus lies with two paranormal investigators, Ed Warren (Wilson) and wife Lorraine (Farmiga). The spiritual couple have devoted their lives to investigating a variety of supernatural incidents. Regularly holding seminars across the country, Ed and Lorraine are keen to offer insight and knowledge into the paranormal world.
The duo is soon called upon for help by the Perron family as things go from bad to worse in their old, countryside farmhouse in Rhode Island. Ever since moving in, the family of seven – mother Carolyn (Taylor), father Roger (Livingstone) and their five daughters – have experienced spooky, inexplicable happenings around the house. Believing in logical explanations, the family’s scepticism is soon silenced when they discover that whatever has latched onto their new home is evil beyond their imagination and unwilling to let go.
Paced beautifully, The Conjuring’s strongpoint lies with its electrifying and chilling atmosphere which is heavily influenced by the horror films of the 70’s; Wan keeps everything from the movie’s colouring to the costume design exceptionally authentic.
Contributing to the film’s realism is the superb cast; Taylor, one of the most underrated actresses of today, comes out as the shining star of the film. Her commitment to the role is undeniable and she manages to dish-up a number of incredibly unsettling scenes. Farmiga is equally as captivating, as is Wilson; the duo skilfully captures the essence of a supernatural-seeking couple. Unfortunately for Livingston – better known as ‘Burger’ from Sex and the City – feels like the oddball of the group. All five children play on the innocence of their characters nicely, which was of course beneficial to the spook-factor.
While it may not be the horror-masterpiece that the hype suggested, The Conjuring still manages to ignite and carry perfect pacing and atmosphere. Extremely moody and awfully chilling, The Conjuring unleashes old-fashioned scares with effortless style; a quality lacking in the majority of horror films released over 2013.