A creek from the stairs, the howling wind on a dead tree, or a deep mist in the early morning; which of these would scare you the most? For any normal person, the answer would be none of the above. While a lot of these may be freighting ideas that we’ve seen used before in scary stories, these aren’t really the elements that produce fear. It is actually the cause of these creeks or whatever’s in the fog that scares us the most. Our mind will take these things, and composite an image that produces our fear. It’s up to us to recognize that there is probably nothing to worry about.
But that inspires the haunting image of the raven on the bookshelf or the ghostly spirits in an old house; an unearthly sound that we think is supernatural. This is something that creped me out as a kid and have wanted to see in more modern day horror movies. Most horror movies resort to a cheap pop out scare that might scare someone for a second, but that fear is never memorable. The greatest horror stories take us into a creepy atmosphere, something that’s unsettling to already look at. Why do you think the image of the possessed Regan in The Exorcist still creates a lot of nightmares even after thirty years? A haunted house will be the atmosphere again in The Conjuring.
Set in the early seventies, Carolyn and Roger Perron have moved into an old farmhouse in rural Rhode Island with their five daughters, Andrea, Nancy, Christine (played by Joey King), Cindy, and April. At first things go fine. But after one night in the house, their dog has died. They also find a boarded up cellar that Roger decides to explore. In the next couple of days, they start to encounter supernatural occurrences such as something pulling on Christine’s feet as she’s sleeping.
When the entities become too freighting for everyone, Carolyn seeks out Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). This couple specializes in paranormal investigation and has solved many mysteries before. Some of them have been simple coincidences to possessed toys. So a haunted house in Rhode Island shouldn’t be too much trouble, right? As it turns out, the house has a terrible history of curses caused by an accused witch. This has led every owner of the land to meet a horrible demise. As the family waits for an okay from the Vatican to perform an exorcism, the disturbances become far worse as it starts turning violent. With time running out, Ed and Lorraine need to make a choice that could save the family.
The Conjuring feels like a combination of Hammer horror films and The Exorcist. The atmosphere is absolute Hell (I mean that in a good way), and it leads to a spectacle of a climax. The Conjuring sets up plenty of scares with what is an interesting story about a house. The more the paranormal investigators research in the witches curse, the more I was intrigued to hear more.
The movie is supposedly based on the true account of the haunting. Ed and Lorraine Warren were real people that really did look into supernatural cases. Rather then making them cardboard cutout characters, this movie seems focused on giving their human characters life as much as it does for it’s ghosts. The Conjuring may be one of the few horror movies I would like to see a sequel or maybe a TV series out of. Ed and Lorraine have an entire room of souvenirs of their previous hauntings that looks like something that could a set for a host. Let’s see some of the other cases.
I’ll give this four and a half possessed dolls out of five. The Conjuring is a scary blend of creeps, peeps, and interesting character development that is sure to give a fun story for any fan of haunted houses.