Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Conjuring (2013) Review:

Demonic possessions and hauntings are real and happen all the time – at least that's what the Warren family says. Here's the strange thing, it's not clear to whether the purpose of this movie was to terrify / entertain us or to make us believe that ghosts are real. Majority would say that the intention was for both reasons but that depends on one's experiences now doesn't it? Bring in someone who's not used to the horror genre and they'll believe anything you say,....but bring in regular gore hounds and nothing will phase them. I guess the whole concept is what you (the viewer) make it out to be.

Nothing is safe to look at......
Anyway, this is the story of two famous paranormal investigators of the last quarter of the 20th century, Lorraine and Ed Warren. When a family named the Perrons' move into a farmhouse, they begin to experience some very strange things about the house. Once noticed, they become terrified and call on the Warrens to help them find out if there really are ghosts in their house. That's where things become high strung. And in some cases too much for even the Warrens. Unfortunately that's because they took on a case they didn't see coming. Yes, even ghost hunters have their off days.

Acting wise, all the characterizations are believable; even for the no name actors who play the Perron family. But the two actors who do show that they were the right actors for the job was Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warren couple respectively. It's not that they gave their characters charm, but more on a human characteristic level. Although they could communicate with spirits, audiences will be able to feel that even with their special abilities, the risk is still high. That's the scary part that’s what makes it dangerous. Both of their performances were the most memorable.

What may surprise viewers and fans alike is how little the violence appears throughout the running time. And although it's directed by James Wan, the guy behind the brutal Saw (2004) franchise, the basis of this movie's horror is in the suspense - not gore. That's the goal; suspense equals terror. This is how one makes a scary horror film. But, that doesn't mean the scenes that were set up to be terrifying, were as terrifying as it was said to be. A lot the scare scenes involve the derivative action of sudden loud noises and long pauses of silence that lead up to the sudden loud noises. The typical scream tactic. It does work in some areas though but most events are predictable. I only jumped twice and I honestly was expecting a much stronger, scarier presentation.

Don't even turn around.......O___O
However, the scenes although typical in scares, did manage to pull off some very creepy imagery. Some of the sounds are really skin crawling - like old rickety wood cracking because it hasn't been moved in years. Or a door slowly opening with a very light creaking noise - oooh boy. The makeup looked good too. It some ways it resembled that of the Evil Dead (2013) possessed victims. The location of filming also helped with the imagery element. The house looked worn and petrified of dead souls to begin with. And lastly, Joseph Bishara's score to the film has a middling to effective listening experience. He definitely creates a dreaded theme with elongated counter string chords but it lacks the polish of other accomplished horror scores. Bishara's score is more bare bones than it is filling. It is an effective horror film but it's not as terrifying as it is said to be.

The musical score and scares lack the terrifying trait that fans may want, but the acting by the main leads are solid and the imagery is downright cringe worthy.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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