Movie #215 2020: The Conjuring (2013)

After reviewing the entire Fast & Furious franchise, I’ve started a whole new one. Why do I do these things to myself? I do not know. But I’ve never seen a single film in this whole universe, so why not this one?

Speaking of Fast, The Conjuring is an all-out horror fest, directed by James Wan. Yep, the same James Wan that directed Furious 7. With Fast 7 being one of my least favourite in that franchise, I wasn’t expecting that much from this movie, I’ll be honest. So, did it exceed expectations?

The Conjuring is based on true events, as most horror movies are these days. (Seriously, what’s up with that?) Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively) are character based on real life paranormal investigators, and this movie is the story of one of their cases. As with many, many horror movies, the film is based on a house that is haunted by a mysterious presence, and it is the Warrens’ mission to help the family who occupy it.

Okay, so I thought this was gonna be next level terrifying judging by the reviews of others. I felt like it was more of just a supernatural mystery thriller movie other than the few jump scares it had, but I guess that’s just me. The trailers for The Conjuring also focused heavily on the ‘hide and clap’ game, but the film itself didn’t contain enough of that. Sure, there are a few sequences in which the game appears, but it felt as though they didn’t take that far enough.

So, as a horror movie that wasn’t actually as scary as the trailers made it out to be, does that mean it was bad? Definitely not.

As a film in general, The Conjuring is a really well made drama. One of the most interesting facets of the movie is that this is set is the seventies. The modern day horror movie just seems really inferior and overdone at this point, but this movie is really technical with interesting cinematography and utilises different angles – something that is rarely seen in horror, other than the obligatory upside down shot of some sort of creature scaling the ceiling.

Other outstanding technical aspects to The Conjuring include the sound editing, which was wonderful and sounded really three dimensional; a horror film that really knows how to use silence. Moreover, the costuming in this is phenomenal. Probably the best I’ve seen in a horror film, and something I’ve been continually impressed by throughout other movies within this franchise, but more on that in upcoming reviews…

Though I’m a sucker for a haunted house, what really broke the scary illusion for me was the way this movie fell back in to common scary movie tropes. I’ve never been a fan of spirits throwing bodies around willy nilly, and it just looks unrealistic rather than scary. Is it just me that can just picture the ropes behind the scenes pulling things about? Yeah, I’m that annoying person.

On a casting note, Vera Farmiga is brilliant and now I want to watch everything she’s ever been in. Isn’t it strange that some of the best horror movies of the past ten years or so have had a strong female actor in the foreground? The other movie I’m thinking of is The Purge with Lena Headey at the helm. Hollywood, take note: get more highly trained women at the forefront of your horror movies!

As a whole, whilst I didn’t find it all that scary but it’s so well made as a movie that it definitely deserves a high rating. It’s a low 4, but it’s definitely a 4.

The Conjuring is available the stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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