Movie Review: The Conjuring

“The Conjuring” tells the true story of world renowned paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, (played by Patrick Wilson and  Vera Farmiga) who were called upon to help a Rhode Island family terrorized by a dark and sinister presence in their secluded farmhouse.

Ed and Lorraine have investigated many famous hauntings throughout their long careers. The infamous “devil doll”, Annabelle, was investigated in 1970, after a couple of nurses sought their services to rid them of the evil that was attached to a Raggedy Ann doll one of their mothers had given them as a present. The doll had been moving around their apartment on its own, and menacing their male roommate. The Warrens took the doll off of their hands, and it now resides in a special case in their occult museum in Monroe, Connecticut.  

In 1975, they investigated the infamous Amityville house that was occupied by the Lutz family for only 28 days before the fled for their lives. 

The Warren’s work is based on their Catholic religion but also uses science. In 1988, they were able to prove in a court of law that a women and her young child were driven by ghosts out of a house they had leased. The Realtor who had leased her the house, had sued, and they were able to provide evidence in court that there really were ghosts in that house.

27 years earlier,  the Warrens found themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives involving the farmhouse recently moved into by the Perron family.
Set in 1971, the movie production design gets an A+ for presenting everything from clothing, hairstyles, furniture, old fashioned T.V. (with the Brady Bunch on), curtains, lampshades, cars, bedspreads, etc looking exactly as it should for that era.

Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their five lovely daughters are not particularly religious people, but after experiencing malodorous odors, doors creeping open, clocks stopped at 3:07,  sleepwalking, and finally getting locked in a creepy, cob webbed cellar with a ghost, Carolyn decides to sit in on one of the Warren’s lectures, and asks (begs, really) the couple to please come to their house and help them. 

Ed Warren is dubious at first, figuring it’s the usual case of leaky pipes and creaky floorboards and prefers to spend the rest of his weekend with his family, but Lorraine takes sympathy on Carolyn and agrees to come over to check the place out. They realize the moment the walk through the door, that this is not going to be an ordinary case.

I watched the movie in a crowded theater with an expressive audience, that screamed at all the spooky moments. 

After the Perron’s evil infestation followed the Warrens to their own house, their young daughter was awakened by bumps in  the night and decided to search for the source of the noises. When she approached the open door of the room where they kept an array of haunted artifacts including the Annabelle doll, voices in the audience yelled, “oh no!” and “Don’t you go in there!”

Strong performances and intelligent direction by “Saw” and “Insidious” director James Wan puts “The Conjuring” head and shoulders above most movies in its genre but not quite up to the level of  depth found in  “The Exorcist”, still my personal favorite horror flick.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars. 
The Conjuring is set to be released on July 19, 2013.