Not much needs to be said about The Conjuring, the latest creepy offering from director James Wan. If you liked his last film, Insidious, as well as movies like Poltergeist and the first Paranormal Activity, then you know what to expect. This is another effective supernatural thriller, designed to keep you on edge and make you jump out of your seat at just the right moments. If you’re the sort of person that likes to visit haunted house attractions during Halloween, then this film will be right up your alley. If you’re someone who doesn’t go in for horror movies, this isn’t the one to win you over.
Personally, I enjoyed it. I did think that certain scenes seemed a little too over the top, and detracted from the overall sense of tension and fear that permeated the rest of the movie. It also had its obligatory “dumb victim” moments, where I wanted to yell at the screen because I couldn’t believe the stupidity of a character ‘s choices (if you believe your house is being haunted, maybe you should avoid going into the basement alone in the middle of the night). I also felt some of the characters were underdeveloped and would have liked to get to know them a little better before seeing them turned into cowering victims before the demonic forces. I’m also highly skeptical about just how much of what’s on the screen is based on true events.
Having said all of that, I think James Wan has delivered another winner. The Conjuring is well paced and kept my attention the whole way through, without bombarding me with nonstop sensory overload. It is very effective in its use of tension, as well as its use of humor to break the tension where appropriate. It shows just enough gruesome imagery to send a chill down your spine, without showing so much that it loses its power to frighten. All in all, The Conjuring is a good thrill-ride of a horror movie with scares that make the Amityville Horror look like a Disney film. For fans of ghost stories, this one is definitely recommended.