The Ninjabot

The Conjuring: Making Dolls Scarier Than Chucky

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm by Jess Hicks

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As Nate stated in last week, it’s been a pretty dismal year for horror films so The Conjuring was pretty much the hope to turn things around. Ever since I saw the teaser I was on board, I’m a fan of James Wan and I am a total sucker when it comes to ghost stories. Now, I know the whole “Based on a True Story” shtick has been pretty well run into the ground but what intrigued me most about this is that the story is based on people who actually exist and are known. Those people in question being Ed and Loraine Warren, made famous by The Amityville Horror investigation.

Putting aside all of the “based on a true story” stuff we have a really good horror film, but I’ll get to that. The Conjuring is a traditional tale revolving around a family of seven, 5 girls because ghosts aren’t scary enough, who move into a cheap country house to start a new beginning. It doesn’t take long for the family to realize why they got the house for so cheap when the girls start proclaiming feeling something pull their legs while their sleeping. After the family begins experiencing more extreme occurrences they finally enlist the help of experts Ed and Loraine Warren.

the conjuring table

The Conjuring is really two stories when it comes down to it; we have the story of the Perron family and the story of the Warrens. Both of them intertwine nicely into a terrifying tale of two families trying to survive. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga do a great job of capturing the chemistry the Warrens had. I can only imagine the life these people led regardless if the stories are real or not. In it’s entirety the whole cast did a great job, hell the kids didn’t even bug me which is always a good thing.

But really we all came to watch The Conjuring to get the crap scared out of us right? So does it do that? Yes, and I think it did it quite well. While there are “jump scares” there are also a fair amount of subtle scares as well. Balance is key in these types of films, we have the jump scares to put us on edge to keep us tense during the subtle creepy scenes. What I liked the most about these scares was that they were often done in complete silence as opposed to the rush of ominous music followed by the ominous BOOM that causes you to throw popcorn on the people behind you. In particular there are a lot of doors opening by themselves in this movie, which to me is frightening. The idea that there is something standing behind a door that shouldn’t be absolutely disturbs me. What’s even worse is that when you check on that creepy noise or door that just opened and find nothing.

the conjuring vera

There were plenty of small touches that also aided in the great atmosphere that accompanies this movie. For example at the beginning we see the youngest Perron girl playing with the music box from hell under a tree (also from hell). When the music starts playing the wind starts to kick up and the sun dips behind the clouds cast a dark shadow over the girl. It’s a great use of ones surrounding to convey a sense that something disturbing is lingering on the property, maybe in the music box itself. The music box itself is a great tool for causing your audience to wriggle uncomfortably in their seats. The tune that flows from the box fills you with such a dread that you don’t want to look in the mirror attached but also can’t look away at the same time. I ended up watching those scenes over my glasses so they weren’t so clear!

The Conjuring works well because it exists in a time before technology, before everyone had an opinion or was an expert on everything. Even down to the text that the title is typed in gives you a sense of being trapped in the past. If you are looking for a good haunted house story then I highly recommend seeing The Conjuring. James Wan continues to be one of my favorite horror directors of the time and I am even more excited for his Insidious 2. Oh, and while we are on the subject, The Conjuring is a different movie from Insidious. It shares some similar elements but drops all the silliness of the final act that Insidious had (I still liked it).

Closing Thoughts and Side Bars:

  • I blame The Ring for my fear of creepy dead kids
  • The doll that is featured throughout this movie will make you wish you had a Good Guy Doll
  • There is more than one ghost story happening in this so it keeps it fresh
  • If you move to a house and your dog refuses to go inside, leave…immediately
  • Always replace furniture the neighbors left behind, you never know when it will be taken over by satanic ghosts
  • Any time I see Lili Taylor I think of her character in Six Feet Under…I hated that character!
  • I will say the trailer gave WAY too much away

So what did you guys think? Did you jump out of your seat? Did you think it was lame? Let us know with a comment below!

The Conjuring: A-

You can follow Jess on Twitter @DangerJess_

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