James Wan has really made himself a name as, I dare say, a film auteur for the horror and thriller genre. In any of his movies, there is always a signature touch that stamps the finished product as his original work. The question on every one of his fans minds lately would be how will he pull off Fast and Furious 7, slated for 2014 release. It will be a test of his directional skills outside of the scare genre. Today, however, we won’t be answering this question as we are publishing our review on his latest effort, The Conjuring.
Most recognisable is a doll, a toy, or something that had been featured in another one of his works. Any movie seemingly associated with his name since the original Saw (2004) thriller, seems to be rather entertaining if not a little scary to watch.
Based on a true incidence and also on real life paranormal investigators (who have also investigated the haunted house featured in Amityville Horror case), The Conjuring stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as Ed and Lorraine Warren, demonologists who come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. Part of the adult Warrens and the Perrons are still alive today to tell their story, and have even published books on this experiences. Needless to say, Wan and writers, Chad and Carey Hayes, found the story good enough to be translated and ‘exaggerated’ for the big screen.
The Conjuring, already riding high on various US cinema charts, is one ‘helluva’ horror-thriller treat for fans of the genre. Is it really scary like all his other shows? In my opinion, no. Is it an innovative story? No. Does it have lots of ghosts flying around with lots of special effects? No. Will my lover’s hand reach for me and hold on to me tight? Well, it depends who has a higher scare tolerance and who has bad body odour.
The Conjuring is definitely really creepy, if not scary. The scare factor is lower compared with Insidious (2010) but it is suspenseful. It does have good storytelling – something that Wan is very good at. It will have you at the edge of your seat more than a few times, and it will give you some laughs. Very enjoyable, indeed.
The set design and costumes to capture the late 60s to 70s style really brought out the period required by the film. Viewers of horror from this period would love the throwback tributes to old horror scenes created by Wan’s and his team.
The Conjuring made with less than USD20 million – a small sum, compared to the other Hollywood biggies – has given many movie goers a real value for shock entertainment. There is little computer wizardry in this movie. It just relies on a real story, good storytelling, a great cast, a great production team and a carefully thought out post production to knit it all together.
The Conjuring will be possessing Malaysian cinemas from 1 August 2013. Bring your holy talismans to keep you safe!