Blu-ray Review: Modern Horror Doesn’t Get Much Better Than ‘The Conjuring’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – James Wan’s “The Conjuring” is such a remarkable leap forward from the director of “Saw” and “Insidious.” I’ve always thought that Wan was talented but his use of sound, music, and forced perspective in this brilliant horror flick immediately propels him to the top of the list for the best genre directors. He’s reportedly leaving horror behind after this mega-hit ($300 million worldwide) behind (he’s filming “Fast & Furious 7” now). The genre will miss him but it’s understandable that he probably thinks he can’t top this truly great movie. Blu-ray rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

“The Conjuring” gets so many things right that other horror films miss. From the filmmaker’s brilliant use of sound to the way he perfectly lays out the dimensions of the haunted farmhouse in which most of the film takes place. It may sound minor but modern horror, cut like a music video, so often misses something as essential as sense of space. We always know where we are in the world of “The Conjuring,” moving from room to haunted room like a 6th child of this terrified family.

Wan also draws performances from his talented cast that elevate the film above most horror films in which performances are an afterthought. Lily Taylor gives perhaps the most underrated acting turn of the year as the centerpiece of this haunting and Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, and a talented cast of young actresses round out a perfect cast.

Most of all, “The Conjuring” holds up incredibly well. You probably saw it in theaters this Summer. Now that the weather has changed and people are wearing costumes in the month in which we celebrate all things spooky, see it again. Show it to a friend. And just appreciate a horror movie that already feels like a classic.

Note: The transfer on the BD of “The Conjuring” is great but the special features are a little slight for such a great film. A Special Edition could be planned for the in-production “The Conjuring 2,” to be directed by someone other than James Wan; someone with big shoes to fill.

The Conjuring was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 22, 2013
The Conjuring was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 22, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Based on true events, The Conjuring tells the thrilling story of ghost hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson), who help a family terrorized by an evil spirit in their mysterious farmhouse.

Special Features:
o The Conjuring: Face-To-Face With Terror
o A Life In Demonology
o Scaring The “@$*%” Out Of You

“The Conjuring” stars Lily Taylor, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Ron Livingston. It was directed by James Wan and released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 22, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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