Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: The Conjuring

James Wan, the director of Saw and champion of the new trend of torture horror films gets back to scary-movie basics with The Conjuring, a classic haunted-house thriller set in the 1970's.  Critics had hyped this film up as one of the scarier movies to come through Hollywood in some time, but I just wasn't that blown away.  While it did have it's scarier moments, Wan gives us just another by-the-book thriller that doesn't nearly earn it's R-rating.

Starring Patrick Wilson (who has become a horror-film regular these days), Vera Farmiga, Lily Taylor, Ron Livingston and a decent supporting cast, this film focuses on a young family who just moved into a house with a creepy backstory.  Taylor and Livingston are parents to 5 girls and the large family ends up experiencing unusual occurrences and flat-out possessions within the house.  Wilson and Farmiga are called in as spiritual experts who assess the creep-factor of the home and help ward off the evil spirits.  I'm really not sure how this film was branded with an R rating.  There are a few scenes of gore but no nudity or curse-words at all.  I may be more of a horror-film purist but when I go to a rated R horror film, I expect a certain level of unrest and shock that I just didn't find in this movie.

What did work here was the nods to the 1970's complete with authentic clothing styles and decor.  All of the tech used in the movie are circa-1970's tape recording equipment, cameras, black lights and other gizmos that the Ghostbusters of the 70's would have used.  Ghosts seem just a little bit scarier when they are monitored by out-of-date technology.  The stars of the cast do a good enough job with the material they're given, especially Taylor who takes on the brunt of the possession scenes in stride.

Overall, this film is a decent scare for most horror fans.  It just doesn't do anything new or groundbreaking and I was left feeling a bit empty at the end.  While not bad by any means I just can't recommend this for people to spend $10-$12 to go see in the theater.  A lukewarm 3 out of 5 JRs for The Conjuring.

1 comment:

Mirza Ghalib said...

Good movie... story is not that new but amazing direction. Could not sleep for 2 days after watching it...!