Saturday, July 20, 2013

Conjuring, The (2013) [Elise's Review]

Director: James Wan
Notable Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farminga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Joey King

While James Wan has definitely dabbled in quite a few genres, the thirty six year old director has made his mark in horror the most. "The Conjuring" is no exception. An even better effort than the previous "Insidious" and "Dead Silence," "The Conjuring" is a horror film to look out for this year but not without some flaws. Based on paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the film focuses on a particular case in a family farmhouse, noted to be the most severe case in the history of their profession. 

As the opening film of Fantasia playing in front of a sold out crowd, the genre film fans made their reactions heard from beginning to end. "The Conjuring" starts out rather solid with the expert set design and wardrobe, capturing the time period quite magnificently. The cast is no exception either with solid performances especially from Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor. Wan employs interesting long shots during the more intense scenes, following characters as they search the house with smooth transitions. 

No doubt movie goers will find themselves comparing this to Wan’s "Insidious," but "The Conjuring" is a film that is more effective. As a film involving a haunting, which is one of the few sub-genres quite popular at the moment, it is bound to be criticized for likeness to other films. The visuals and scares are well shot, yet it treads very familiar territory. People might find themselves comparing it to "The Amityville Horror," which oddly enough is a case that Ed and Lorraine Warren really investigated. Yet "The Conjuring" is enough of a powerhouse of a film to feel somewhat fresh and entertaining compared to the many similar films that miss the mark. 

Another interesting comparison with "Insidious" is Wan’s use of humor of the film. While the humor mostly came in the form of Leigh Whannel and Angus Sampson in "Insidious," "The Conjuring" uses dialogue from various characters, especially the sheriff played by John Brotherton. The humor in "The Conjuring" is welcome at first, but it pushes the boundaries after awhile in helping the film stay more sinister and serious. Luckily it doesn’t seem to push as hard as it did in "Insidious," so it still remains a more effective as a horror film. 

"The Conjuring"’s scares and horror scenes is where it really hits the mark with great help from the excellent cast. The pacing however is just a tad rocky. A few things aren’t explored to the full extent that I would have liked to seen. Seeing closure on the other spirits like Rory would have been a nice addition. Interestingly enough, the use of both subtle scares in the beginning turns into a more graphic nonstop powerhouse of a climax at the end. While there isn’t anything new to offer, Wan employs less jump scares than the average film and delivers with a frightening roller coaster ride that takes no prisoners.

Overall, "The Conjuring" makes up with its great cinematography, style and effectiveness as a horror film versus the slight overuse of humor and retreaded material. Fantasia movie-goers took this film very well, garnering a couple of applauses throughout the run-time. The film seems to also have good re-watch value. If Wan can continue this success with minor problems as well as this one then he can definitely remain a force to be reckoned with. Bring on "Insidious 2!"

Written By Elise
Ramblings Of A Deadite 

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Elise. Had a nice time with this flick, even if I don't care for the horror genre all that much. That's just what happens though when they're done right.