Who's in it?
Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston
What's it about?
The Conjuring is the story of demonologist Ed Warren and his clairvoyant wife Lorraine's investigation into the haunting of the Perron family's new house in 1970. It also has the (rushed, tacked on feeling) case of two nurses and a friend, in which one of the nurse's Raggedy Anne doll named Annabelle has been infested with a malevolent demon.
Left: The real Annabelle, Right: The film's Annabelle
I want to start out by saying that I usually HATE the horror genre, I always expect to be scared or at least a little freaked out but come away disappointed EVERY TIME due to the fact that they're basically all the same story, characters and unexplained idiocy. Then there comes along a horror like this..
The film opens to the aforementioned tacked on-feeling story of two nurses and some random dude that's apartment has been plagued by one of the nurses Raggedy Anne that has been infested with a demon. They are the stereotype for haunted people, they throw out the doll then later that night when there's a loud thumping at the door they open their bedroom doors at exactly the same time, step out at the same time and exchange the same glance of 'WTF?'. While I did find this awful in the fact IT'S EVERY HORROR WITH A DOLL EVER, it's bearable due to the fact it's how you meet the complete badasses that are Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Did someone say possessed doll stereotype?
After you meet the Warrens you meet the Perrons, every movie-stereotype family ever, we've even got the annoying teenage daughter moaning about everything. Now this was a low point for me, even with the AWESOME Season of The Witch playing in the background, it made me think that this was another example of the only scary thing about horrors for me; it's an exact carbon copy of it's predecessors. But that's where it all stops, what follows is a completely engrossing, arm rest gripping-until it hurts- real horror movie.
The actual Perron sisters and the film's Perron sisters
Ed (who sadly passed away in 2006) is a through-and-through boss, he's just completely cool from his clothes, to his demeanor, and even his (apparently trending) side burns. He is acted fantastically by Patrick Wilson, and after reading an interview with the the real Ed I realised Wilson was even closer to the mark than I thought. Vera Farmiga played Lorraine brilliantly as well, even when her cue was to be an annoying wife that just repeated herself. But tied for the star of the film with Wilson as Ed is Lili Taylor as (mother) Carolyn Perron, she was incredible. She is consistently good, as is her makeup as the film goes on, no matter what happens she hits the mark for me every time. Then there's Roger Livingston playing Roger Perron, and I'll admit he was as wooden as Pat Kenny's hair to start but he progressively gets better throughout the film. Overall the film is excellently acted, but then again this is a horror film so I'm not sure if that's saying much.
Now I have to say The Conjuring is brilliant, but I am aware that it is from a genre I usually hate and this took me surprise so I have to acknowledge the flaws and not be blinded by 'this is different so it's great' views. The tacked-on Annabelle aspect of the story is a huge disappointment after reading the actual case because that case alone could have had a great film. It's rushed, out of place and just lazily thrown in (it's a totally different case) to create tension in an already tense film, which it kind of took out of it for me, but then OH MY GOD when it actually is 'relevant' again. Then there's the first ghost you see. I want to let you get excited to see it but it's just such a letdown, it's basically the exorcist face from every horror/popup face in videos and it's such a pain because of how well it's built up to the showing, then it's just like being on Newgrounds pre-2005.
The Face of Disappointment..
This film really is perfectly thrilling, scary and well worth a watch, as is reading up on the Warrens cases. If you either catch the (highly recommended) film or just even read up on the couples exploits I'd love to hear about it on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments.
The (sigh..) Eldest Gorgebag