Cinematic Releases: The Conjuring

Do you remember the good old days when possession and haunting movies were truly horrific? Can you remember when scares did not rely on CGI graphics, but were based on tension skillfully crafted by a director with a knack for frightening an audience with moody music and lighting? The Conjuring is just that.

The film is a true return to form for the long lost art of good horror that doesn't need to slash teenagers and soak us in computer rendered blood. Much like the original Amityville, The Conjuring is a film that takes place in our reality and executes some of the most tense moments delivered to this genre in years. While you can sense some definite old school influences, younger audiences will be thrilled to finally get a good movie about demonic possession.

Growing up in the 80's, I was spoon fed a slew of classic haunting and possession films. Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, Ghost Story, and The Entity were all movies that scared the living crap out of me and stuck with me for years.The Conjuring is the first genre film in years that will definitely take up residence in my vast horror collection.
For a film to give me vintage goose pumps and have me quivering like a little school girl says a lot. The Conjuring delivers on almost every level despite a relatively poor conclusion. But, this is a story about paranormal researchers, Ed and Lorraine Warren. With the money this movie is scaring up (see what I did there?), there's a definite chance we'll see a sequel or continuation for these real life characters.

Where the scares exist from a scripting level, excellent direction and cinematography, the true standout of the film is the cast. With exceptionally strong performances from Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston, The Conjuring had no chance of being a failure. Without a grade A cast like this, the film just wouldn't work. Scares exist from emotion and perfection in delivery. Each member of this cast offers realistic presentations of human characters, not cardboard cutouts like we typically get from these types of films.

If you're a fan of old school haunting films and love movies about demons taking over, see The Conjuring. It doesn't suck.
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- review by Chris George