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Review: The Conjuring

Finally a summer flick to scream about. Literally...


It’s been a while since we’ve been left cowering in our cinema seat. A few freaky titles have tried this year but none quite live up to the horror of true life story, The Conjuring.

James Wan directs and with a resumé boasting movies such as Insidious and the Saw franchise, he successfully uses nearly every trick in the book to feed the horror lover’s appetite. Wan’s other credits also include Dead Silence (that one with the scary ventriloquist dolls) which probably gave him inspiration for the character of Annabelle featured on the films creepy poster.

At first you think the plot is nothing new; a family made up of Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) and their five daughters who move to a secluded house in Harrisville. As always, there’s one angsty teen who doesn’t agree with the move, “First cute boy she meets, she’ll forget about Jersey” says Carolyn. Oh, honey, if only things were that simple.

After a slightly slow start we are thrown into the spooky story and to be fair when it gets going it REALLY gets going. The usual tension build-ups of squeaky doors and freaky mirrors get your heart racing and the jumpy moments leave you shaking. But it’s the family’s self-made game of hide and clap that made us gasp (embarrassingly) out loud when a real bad closet case decides to join in the “fun”. Things go from worse to unbearable for the Perrons and after too many things go bump in the night, they reside to sleeping in their living room before calling in the ghost busters.

Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives. What’s clever and different about the plot is that we become involved with their family just as much as the Perrons. The Warren’s like to collect creepy instruments from past investigations including the Annabelle doll, which of course is just asking for trouble. When it appears even they can’t cope with the demonic activity you know it’s bad. A sequence with a rocking chair andWarren’s little girl will either leave you frozen scared in your seat or covering your eyes for dear life.

When the history behind the Perron’s new home is unravelled as you can imagine it’s pretty grim. The horrific rollercoaster of events comes to a jolt when Carolyn becomes possessed and an exorcism is performed by Ed. Exorcism scenes in horror films are nothing new but the powerful performances by Lili Taylor and Vera Farmiga make the life threatening experience frightfully realistic.

With the stomach wrenching drama and brief moments of Saw-like gore, horror fans will be entertained until the very last second. Also if you discover a creepy basement in your house, DON’T go investigating.

GT gives it a freaky 4/5

The Conjuring is released on Friday 2nd August and you can check out the below:

Words: Benjamin Spence

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