The Conjuring Review: Conjuring the Clap


The Conjuring was the talk of the town when the first trailer was released. It was the creepiest trailer I saw in a while which involved a mother playing hide and seek with her daughter…and clapping (I never saw clapping the same way again).

Before watching the movie, I had no idea that James Wan (Saw, Insidious) was directing it. Let me say that I was surprised, and he did a bang-up job in constructing a movie with a great setting, interesting story, solid acting, characters who aren’t annoying, and…it’s scary and intense to boot.

The Conjuring, which is based on a true story, follows the Perrons (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) who recently moved into a new house in Rhode Island in 1971. It turns out that the house is haunted, so they seek help from paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively).

Since it was based on a true story back in the 70s in a farmhouse, that’s automatically a plus in the scary meter. Since it’s a haunted house story, it wouldn’t be complete without weird noises, doors moving, and possessed bodies.

The movie starts off as we see the Warrens investigating a case about a possessed doll. The doll is freaky-looking and is definitely something you don’t want in the house. It’s a nice setup to see how the Warrens couple work together. Lorraine is the one who can see things, and Ed is the expert in demonology.

After solving the doll case, the Warrens encounter their worst case yet, the Perron family’s haunted house. The family encounters everything including moving doors, dead birds, bruises, and clapping. As the movie goes on, the intensity of the haunting gets bigger.

The thing I enjoyed about the movie was the setting and family. This is a family that’s just trying to get by during the 70s. The movie does a good job of explaining why the family’s only option is to hire the Warrens. You start to care about the family and because of that, you’re invested in their journey to make it out alive.

The other things I liked about the movie was the story and the different subplots to engage you. There are many different elements, from the Warrens fighting their own demons to the Perron family struggling to stay sane. With that, you also get the mystery behind the haunted house. All these things put together make it interesting to follow.

The actors all have great performances that lend to the intensity of the movie. Ron Livingston as the Perron dad makes you feel empathy as he tries to get by to support his family. Lili Taylor also does a good job as the mom who gets in the worst scenarios. Patrick Wilson, who I remember as Nite Owl in Watchmen, keeps it together as Ed Warren. Then we have Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren, who shows off her emotional side as she sees what’s beyond our world.

The only things that bothered me was the overuse of the camera zooming in and out during the beginning scenes and how crazy the haunted house can get (You’ll see what I’m talking about).

It’s rare that a scary movie can deliver on scares and emotions. You care about the characters, it actually has heart, and it’s well paced. It’s got a nice blend of scares and some nicely placed comedic elements, just enough to lighten the mood of an already dark movie. The last horror movie I can think of that had these elements was The Others with Nicole Kidman. So if you’re looking for a horror movie to watch with your date, I highly recommend this movie.

Grade: A

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