Film Review: Effective ‘The Conjuring’ Captures the Sum of All Fears

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – True scary movies have a couple of things going for them – the source of the scare and the psychology of the scare. The source provides the “boo,” the audience provides the interactive psychology. “The Conjuring” is a true scary movie.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Dead serious and with a high level of performance, the story of an exorcism case in the early 1970s hits all the high notes of disturbing fright. It involves demonologists, mystery, murder, the church and the family. All the visceral elements that provide both context and empathy. The based-on-truth story is most likely stretched out, but the production takes extreme care in recreating the circumstances, for the 1970s period it’s set in and the basis for all that occurs. With creepy and creative turns from Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor, and as directed by James Wan,“The Conjuring” ups the ante for intuitive supernatural terror.

Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) move their family of five daughters to a rural farmhouse. There is creep factor in the old house, as doors start closing on their own, along with unexplained noises and a presence throughout the home. Dismissing the phenomenon at first, the family keeps getting punished for their ignorance, but as the frights become more intense, it becomes time to call in the experts.

These experts are Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). They are “demonologists,” experts on supernatural presence in both houses and people. Lorraine puts herself in danger when exploring these situations, because she empathetically connects with those ghosts and as her husband puts it, loses a piece of herself with each case. The Perron family event, and the exorcising of the possessed house, turns out to be their most difficult challenge.

“The Conjuring” opens everywhere on July 19th. Featuring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston and John Brotherton. Screenplay by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes. Directed by James Wan. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Conjuring”

Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston
L-R: Ed (Patrick Wilson), Lorraine (Vera Farmiga), Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) in ‘The Conjuring’
Photo credit: New Line Cinema

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Conjuring”

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