On Friday night I took yet another trip to the cinema to see the latest horror offering from director James Wan, The Conjuring. I had high expectations of the film, having seen Wan’s ‘Insidious’ (2010) in the past and thinking it was brilliant, as well as seeing the teaser trailer months ago when I was at the cinema seeing another film (I can’t remember which, I’ve seen too many films at the cinema this year I have lost track!), and in the space of about one and a half minutes I was hooked and wanted to see more. I waited patiently for months for anymore adverts to see when it was eventually coming to a cinema near me, but nothing more seemed to come up about it. Last week though, I was on YouTube when, what did I come across? The official and full length trailer of The Conjuring, with the exciting news that it was coming out that very Friday (2nd August). Needless to say, last Friday evening I dashed to the cinema in anticipation and excitement to see the film that critics were calling the horror event of the year, and that I had been itching to see since about March. After all of the months of waiting and the desperate need to see this film that looked like it would be a masterpiece from the trailer, I left the cinema after its near two hour run with a feeling of amazement, fear, excitement and utter terror. To put it straight to the point, I was not left disappointed.
The Conjuring was everything I expected and so much more. What I loved about it was what I love about certain horror films in that it jumped straight into the unfolding events, yet as well as doing this it built up the tension that the audience felt would crack at any moment. The frights came when the audience least expected it, even for a complete horror geek like myself I had no idea when the scares were coming, where they were going to be and how they could take place. What was brilliant about The Conjuring though was that you had no idea what would take place with the change of every scene. Unlike quite a few horror films that have been released in recent years, The Conjuring was not predictable in the slightest, with each moment coming as a surprise, and the film having been made to give nothing away to the audience about what was going to happen in the big final moments, making the suspense for the audience even greater. Being set in the 1970s, the film achieved what so many others that are set in previous decades fail at. You really do feel as if you have stepped into a time machine and taken back to this period of time. The clothes, the technology, the furnishings, the cars, everything felt authentic and you really do feel as though the tiniest of detail has been paid to every aspect of this horror masterpiece. In my eyes, everything was just flawless. The acting was superb, to the extent of feeling as though the actors are the real life characters that they are portraying, as opposed to just acting in roles. The music is quite simply amazing, and it is extraordinary how the music for the film is able to send chills all over the audiences bodies and terrify them just as much as the events they are viewing.
One of the major aspects about The Conjuring is that it is based on a true story. The film tells of renowned Paranormal Investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and their involvement in seeking the truth about the unusual and frightening events that took place in the Rhode Island farmhouse home of the Perron’s in the early 1970s. The family and the Warrens have kept the events under wraps for many years due to their disturbing and frightening nature, until now that is. In recent interviews members of the Perron family have spoken out about what took place to them all those years ago and the film itself, claiming that everything you see in the film happened to them in their former home, but have also said some parts of the film have been exaggerated in order to give the plot a bigger structure for cinema goers. I am normally wary of believing films that say they are based on a true story, but with this one I wasn’t quite so wary. Seeing clips of the family on the Internet talking of their experience, the fact that Lorraine Warren and one of the Perron daughters, Andrea, were consultants on the film, and you can go to the grave of the woman who haunts the Perron home in Rhode Island, and who is seen in the film (though her background story has been exaggerated for the film) haunting the family, it really makes it feel that bit more believable. I’m not a full believer in life after death, and I’m not a complete skeptic, so I’m not quite sure how to take the films real life basis, there is part of me that does believe it, but there are other parts that don’t quite believe all of it, although I do think that the part that doesn’t believe all of it may be down to not wanting to believe these terrifying events actually happened.
All in all, The Conjuring has become not only one of my favourite films of 2013, but also I’m general one of my favourite horror films. If you love a scare and haven’t yet been to see it, I would seriously highly recommend you don’t miss the chance to see The Conjuring. A definite 5 stars.