Horror has always had a steady current of the spectral and demonic running through it. Classics like the Exorcist, The Shining and Poltergeist share common themes. A family is haunted by beings either dead (and not happy about it), or some kind of supernatural force.
The Conjuring begins with a lecture on a haunting case our paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren played by Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Watchmen) and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Source code) have solved. Between these lectures on the other worldly, the Warren’s help people with ‘unwanted guests’.
We are also introduced to the unlucky family whose new dream home in the country is about to become a waking nightmare. Roger and Carolyn Perron, along with their 5 daughters, one of which sleepwalks and another is at the age where imaginary friends keep her company begin to experience unexplained occurrences. Initially they shrug these happenings off until it begins to be a somewhat nightly torment.
Carolyn contacts the Warren’s to see if they can shed light on what is keeping her family awake and terrorized. They reluctantly agree and soon establish that the threat that is dwelling in the Perron house isn’t just a case of new house noises. The only thing to do is move in and find a solution (before it is too late).
The Conjuring has all your usual horror film staples, I don’t scare easy but this film made me jump and there was plenty of screaming from the rest of the audience. The 70’s setting is subtle as well, no wonky collars or terrible trousers and where religion and belief still played more of a part in our lives. The fact it’s based on a true story adds further to the horror.
The theme is a touch dated, but if you fancy being scared out of your wits by a malevolent force The Conjuring might just be for you.
The Conjuring is out now.