Movie Review: Based on accounts, the Perron Family moves into a 1730s-era farm house in Harrisville, R.I., in 1971. Carolyn and Roger Perron (Taylor and Livingston) and their five daughters find the house is spaciously comfortable. They also find the house has malevolent spirits. As it turns out, Bathsheba, a satanic-worshiping witch, haunts the house and the land on which it sits. She begins tormenting the Perrons. Even after Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga), leaders of a paranormal team, work to help, events become more frightening. This does not dissuade the Perrons and the paranormal experts from completing their task: the removal of Bathsheba.
Although this horror makes creepy, excellent entertainment, it feels like one has seen parts of it before. It neatly combines the likenesses from several horror flicks of yesteryear. Directed by Wan, “The Conjuring” is reminiscent of “Poltergeist” (1982), “Child’s Play” (1988), “The Exorcist” (1973) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979).
“The Conjuring” thrives because it is similar to those aforementioned films. It cleverly inserts frightful moments without the gratuitous and gory moments associated with other modern horrors and thrillers. This works to the film’s advantage. It stays with you long after one has finished watching it. That is what a good horror should do.
“The Conjuring” manages to be more tangible than most horrors, although it still manages to overplay some moments in typical Hollywood fashion. It takes events based on a true story and makes them intriguing. This provides a nice engagement for audiences.
Director Wan has directed other horror and thriller-related genres. He provided moviegoers with “Saw” (2004), “Dead Silence” (2007) and “Insidious” (2010), which also starred Wilson. Wan is quickly becoming the new Hitchcock within the horror genre. “The Conjuring” is a nice addition to his repertoire.
Grade: B (Conjures up some good scare tactics.)