Director: James Wan
Screenplay: Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes
The first time I heard about “The Conjuring” was through Facebook. Some movies’ page shared something about it and I thought to myself “meh… another movie about a family who moves to a new house and, surprise surprise, it’s hunted…” and, in fact, the movie was like that. But damn it was scary! The kinds of scary I like, the kind where you start by just putting your hands on your chest in the first scenes, but then you are bitting your nails without even realizing it! Although I have to say I found the first part of the film scarier since it plays with things we don’t see. We just feel them or get just a glance or a movement or a detail. I wasn’t going to see this movie (well, eventually I would) because I thought it was going to be another boring cliché, but a friend told me to (which, by itself, it’s not going to make me watch anything) and after I read something about it that got my attention (this was the main reason… sorry…).
So yes, it’s about a family of seven (!!), in the 70’s, who moves into their new country house in the middle of nowhere, of course, and strange things start to happen. The first of all was, indeed, a cliché: their dog doesn’t enter the house and the first morning it shows up dead. I was not impressed. But then… The girls (the kids are all girls) play this game, “hide and clap” (something like “marco polo” but with claps) and yeah, ghosts wanna play too, how fun (not!). But there are several different things happening at the same time in that house, not just a regular possession, no, it seems to be too much things happening there. That’s because there are too many spirits, and all because of one of them: the first one to live there, a witch who hanged herself after killing her son as a kind of offering to Satan. She didn’t want anyone else living on her lands, so every person that stepped foot there died. And that’s what was happening to this family. Fortunately they heard about a couple of demonologists (a couple couple, husband and wife, Lorraine and Ed Warren, she’s a psychic and he’s a demonologist and they work together) who were very famous for their success in helping with this kind of situations. And that’s it, they save the family (after a tremendous effort, this was one of their worst cases)! It is, actually, a cliché story. But the way James Wan depicted the events is very worth it! Again I must talk about the shots: handycam style, behind the characters, as if we were there with them, feeling and seeing and hearing what’s inside the house, we’re not just watching a movie, we are there! And those creepy details… like someone whose foot is grabbed in the middle of the night but there’s no one there. Like the mother playing that clapping game with one of her daughters and, with her eyes covered, following the claps just to realize they’re not her girl’s claps. Are you looking over your shoulder yet?
I haven’t mentioned the doll from the first picture because that’s an artifact that doesn’t appear very often throughout the movie, just occasionally. It serves as the opening and to introduce the Warrens, and well, she’s creepy as hell. But the main “villain” is that witch I talked about, who’s going to try to possess the mother, Carolyn, and murder the children, although the spirits of the other persons she killed along the years also appear. One of them even gets friends with the youngest daughter, April.
I don’t think it’s necessary to go into details, this is the kind of thing you have to see, there’s not much to talk about. It is scary and if you feel like you don’t get a good horror movie in a while, go see “The Conjuting”. You know how it is with this kind of movies, and I’ve said to much already. I can’t spoil you all the scares. It’s not like other movies where I can describe the scenes I find more interesting and talk about them… but I can’t resist, I have to tell you about just one scene, it scared the sh*t out of me! Remember the foot pulling I mentioned? The poor girl, Christine, peeks under the bed, since she realized it wasn’t her sister who did it. Just this would be enough for me, when I was younger I was always afraid something might be under my bed… But she doesn’t see anything there… the “thing” is by the door, and she’s the only one who can see it. She wakes her sister up, calling her almost without voice and absolutely terrified, with tears about to fall off her eyes, and tells her it is behind the door, asks her if she can see it. Her sister does not see anything and to prove there’s no one there, she goes to where Christine’s pointing. Christine says, in absolute horror, the thing is just behind her sister. And then the door shuts with a bang!
There’s more I could tell, but I won’t (however, I guarantee you there’s much, much more to see and get some good frights!). It reminded me of Insidious, which is not surprising as the director is the same… And I loved Insidious, although I know some people were like “meh”. This guy know how to make you feel anxious, he know how to create something that will chain you to the screen, even if the stories are already known! If you liked Insidious, you’ll like The Conjuring. The details are insane, I love how creepy he can make things (like the scene with the sheet!! You’ll see…)!!! Could it be because of James’ asian roots? Asian horror is awesome and this film has that element, that tension, the suspense, that real fear we can feel, not just by watching some gore or some insane psychopath, but because of dealing with something that is beyond our comprehension, out of our control and possibly stronger than us.(Just a note: I didn’t know James Was was the same guy who made Saw, as Saw came out in 2004 and in that time I didn’t even appreciate movies as I do today. (I didn’t even watch movies as far as I remember…) I’m just saying this because Saw, although I find it an awesome movie as well because of that final twist, has much gore in it, contrary to The Conjuring or Insidious. Still, it has the suspense element, which makes it different (better, in my opinion) from pure gore.)
P.S.: Did I mention it’s based on a true story?