The Conjuring (2013) – movie review

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The Conjuring

In Harrisville, Rhode Island, a young couple with five children struggling to survive a weak economy got a great deal on a home and several acres of land. It was an opportunity they could not pass up. They would later regret it.

The Conjuring is the classic haunted house tale, a true story adapted for film under the direction of James Wan. It relays the harrowing events of the Perron family and what occurred in their country home during 1971. It also follows real-life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who throughout their lives have helped hundreds of families deal with supernatural occurrences.

The Conjuring delivers, jump scares, creepy scares, fun scares, and ‘think about it at 2: am’ scares – it has it all! The pacing was excellent, leaving time after each big scary scene for nervous laughter and regrouping before ramping up the tension again. There
were some intentionally funny parts, dark and oppressive atmosphere, and the kind of build-up needed for a supernatural film to be effective. At its climax the film escalated into a high-action fear-fest.

Some will say that aspects of the film could have been more in-depth. The investigation into the history of the land seemed truncated but nothing is worse during a ghost movie than watching the protagonist sit in a library looking at old newspapers on microfilm. The scene with the priest was equally short but the film is not about the priest, it is about the Warrens and the Perrons. So, while these scenes were obligatory they were kept to minimum length, which I think worked well for this film.

If you like supernatural horror, ghost stories, haunted house flicks, and a bit of spirit possession, you will likely enjoy this film. It is the most fun I have had with a haunted house film since Poltergeist.

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Recommended if you like:
Poltergeist, House, The Amityville Horror, Insidious, The Woman in Black, The Changeling,

Lorraine Warren was on set as a consultant, a testament to Wan’ s commitment in portraying the events as close to the real happenings as possible.

Lorraine even makes a Cameo appearance in the film during a lecture on supernatural occurrences.

***You can compare the movie with the real life happenings here: Reel Faces

**You can read about some of the Warren’s investigations here: The Warrens

**After many years of silence, the youngest Perron daughter penned a book, ‘House of Darkness House of Light’ in 2009 detailing the events that had taken place back in 1971. When asked why she waited all these years, she stated, “The world was not ready for a story like this back then.” Check out the book here: ‘House of Darkness House of Light’ 

The Apparition (2012) – movie review

apparition 2012The Apparition (2012)

How did I miss this release? The box alludes to a modern ghost tale with fast-paced digi-fx, good scares and thrills. It starts out well enough; footage of a 1973 parapsychology experiment – a séance in order to prove the existence of the spirit world. Then we move to ‘today’, the same experiment with sophisticated equipment to capture proof of the existence ghosts – but this time something goes wrong. Something goes wrong with this movie, too! Ben (who was involved with the latest experiment) and Kelly move into a new home – wait a second… they already had a reason for ghosts to be haunting them, why would they use the tired cliché of moving into a new house as the starting point of this haunt? But that’s not the only cliché in this wholly unoriginal movie. We have black growths on the walls, ala, Pulse, we have open doors in the middle of the night, ala, Grave Dancers, we have plants dying within hours of being brought into the home – as in every haunted house flick since Burnt Offerings, we have dead-gray hands coming out of nowhere to grab Kelly – as in The Grudge, we have an angry ghost coming out of a washing machine – once again like Pulse, and, we have the ‘scary’ crawl to investigate under the crawlspace of the house. There doesn’t seem to be one original concept, visual, or new idea in this whole film. Add to that, all these scenes are filmed in a way that lacks any build of suspense, chills or tension. I can only think that the film maker was out of his genre in making this film and knows little about horror movies. Maybe he thought if he just copied what every other movie had done it would make for a good flick. He thought wrong. On top of that, there was no chemistry between Ben and Kelly that would make me feel like they were a couple – the dialogue was bland and uninteresting. I think I’ve hit upon the two words that describe this movie, bland and uninteresting. It’s a bunch of bland scenes done far better in the films they were lifted from. (Also copied in an uninteresting way: moving furniture from The Exorcist, melding people with walls from The Philadelphia Experiment, sleeping in a tent from The Sixth Sense.) Stay away from the Apparition.

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