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The Conjuring: Good Looking Ghostbusters + A Credible Villain + James Wan = The Scariest Movie of the Year

July 13, 2013

The Conjuring Movie Poster

The Conjuring is a wonderful beast. The acting, storytelling and massive amounts of dread are proof of a director on the top of his game. James Wan directed the wonderful Insidious and proved horror can be told on a budget and not be a remake, sequel or prequel. Certain critics complained of Wan’s usage of Poltergeist themes but as Alonso Durade of The Wrap so elegantly put it:

The Conjuring doesn’t try to reinvent the tropes of horror movies, whether it’s ghosts or demons or exorcisms, but Fred Astaire didn’t invent tap-dancing, either.

James Wan has become a maestro of mini-budget mayhem. He directed Insidious on a one million dollar budget (that equals one minute of Transformer’s 3). He tells tightly knit stories in which family is important, demons are totally evil and the acting is always wonderful. Wan made the incredibly smart decision to bring back Patrick Wilson from Insidious and add the wonderful Vera Farmiga. Together they play the real life couple Ed and Lorraine Warren who believe they were put together to do the world good. Aside from being the world’s best looking paranormal duo they have grace, charm and the authority to go head to head with persistent spirits. The real life Warren couple has a huge following (lovers and haters) and they inspired The Amityville Horror which was one of their cases. What I like most about this couple is they have a locked room inside their house where they keep all the evil (?) artifacts. They don’t want them destroyed because the spirits will be released and they don’t want them in the populace because they will continue to terrorize. You have to appreciate people who risk their safety to protect the world.

I’d compare Wan’s two latest films to the Fast & Furious franchise (He will be directing the seventh installment). Fast may have ripped off Point Break and feature 35 mile runways but they are told with confidence, intelligence and insane action set pieces. None of the films are Shakespeare but they are effective money makers that have huge followings. They’ve found ways to created likable characters who battle something bigger then themselves (With the exception of The Rock).

What I loved most about Insidious and The Conjuring is the people involved are all very nice and the haunting are WAY above their heads. They get entangled with evil and will do anything to protect their families and friends. Unlike other films like Sinister where terror is caused by selfishness these films focus on family. You understand why they stay in the house and why they can’t leave. Sure, there are moments when they look in mysteriously opened doors but these moments lead to creative set pieces inside the foreboding house. Another thing Wan excels at is creating scary images that stay burnt in your memory. I still can’t get the Jigsaw puppet from Saw out of my memory and his red demon still haunts me. In a day and age of annoying horror films that feature nothing memorable it is nice to be scared by shadowy demons who don’t photo bomb or wear skin masks.

red guy insidious

I don’t want to give away anything about this film. From the trailers you know clapping, matches, good music and retro outfits will be involved. However, the movie covers several genres and gives us a big bad who relishes causing harm. Stay away from the trailers, don’t read too much about it and allow it to scare the crap out of you. If you are a horror buff don’t go into the film looking to complain. Empty your mind and allow Wan’s film to fill your senses with constructive shots, fantastic set design and creepy moments.

Watch The Conjuring. Appreciate James Wan. Hope he knocks Fast Seven out of the park. Check off the days till Insidious 2.

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