I think the highest praise I can give The Conjuring is that it reminded me of how long it’s been since I’ve seen a good, old fashioned horror movie. If you’re looking for gore and camp, this isn’t your movie. But The Conjuring is creepy, atmospheric and really captures the feel of some of the best 70s and 80s horror movies like The Exorcist and The Shining. Granted, the movie never rises to the level of those greats, but it’s a nice throwback to a time where storytelling took precedence over special effects, and building a sense of dread in the audience was more important that jump scares.
The movie is based on a haunting investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, arguably the most famous paranormal investigators in the country. I’ve always been fascinated by them, as they were from Connecticut, so as a kid growing up in the same state, I would often hear about cases they worked on that made the news, When I really started becoming a horror fan, the idea that a husband and wife team actually went and searched out the stuff of nightmares in real life was mind-blowing to me.
As I mentioned before, this movie is a throwback in every sense of the word. The actual case took place in 1971, and the film does a nice job of capturing the feel of that time. Director James Wan and Cinematographer John Leonetti also do a lot of wide-angle shots and camera creeping as opposed to the quick cuts that more modern films are known for. All of this lends to the atmosphere of the film in a creepy way.
Like I said, while it never rises to the level of a “classic,” there is a lot to like about The Conjuring. I’m hoping the box office success of the film will bring us more films like it in the future. It’s definitely the best throwback film I’ve seen since 2009’s The House of the Devil.
4 out of 5 Another Reason I Hate Dolls