The Conjuring

I started this post last night and then remembered I was breaking the one rule I set for myself when writing about “The Conjuring.”

Don’t do it after dark. I was lucky enough to not lose any sleep after seeing the film a week ago and I didn’t want to risk suffering from belated nightmares.

I don’t write reviews for the paper I work at that often, but here is a draft I plan to publish next week.

Read it if you dare.

I can’t resist a good scary movie. I should, but I just can’t.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson after a string of sleepless nights caused by “Paranormal Activity” or the because of the fear instilled by the cabin caper “The Strangers.”
Classics like “The Dead Zone” and “The Shining” still give me the jitters, but I won’t necessarily shy away from a repeat viewing. (As long as someone watches with me).
Thus I couldn’t hold back on heading to the theater with my friends to see this summer’s horror release “The Conjuring.”
imagesThe film comes from James Wan, director of the “Saw” series and “Insidious.”
It is promoted as being based on the true story of cases handled by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, especially one dating back to an 18th century haunted farmhouse purchased by a couple in Rhode Island.
The couple, Carolyn and Roger Perron (played by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) move into the home with their five daughters and it isn’t long before things start to go bump in the night.
Carolyn suffers mysterious bruises, notices all the clocks stopping at the same time of night and soon her daughters start experiencing strange occurrences in their rooms while they sleep.
Short of just leaving the house forever, Carolyn reaches out to the Warrens (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) to help remove the spirits for good.
I certainly had covered my eyes and jumped in my seat several times by that point in the film, but it’s definitely not the scariest I’ve ever seen.
Surprisingly, I slept just fine that night and I wasn’t haunted by images of ghostly children and people being violently dragged around their home by an invisible being.
In the case of “The Conjuring,” the villains are former residents of the farmhouse – one a woman accused of being a witch who murdered her infant daughter and another a boy who was murdered there.
Perhaps I left the theater less scared because Wan took the time to develop the story of the Warrens and Perrons and somewhat of a slow approach to the moments of horror you want to look away from.
But that technique also prevents the viewer from having their cardigan covering their eyes at just the right time. Just sayin’
The Perrons are freed of their demons by the end, but I’m not so sure that’s the case with the Warrens. It’s made clear in the film that each case they investigate has a lasting effect on the couple, especially Lorraine.
I thought the final scene opened the story up to a sequel and sure enough rumors about “The Conjuring 2” are out there. I’ll give it a shot, but I am skeptical that it will be as good as the original.
There are even people who are skeptical that the hauntings at the farmhouse actually happened after the Warrens started their investigation.
According to a USA Today article, skeptics of the Warrens say they are just good at telling scary stories about what may have happened during their career.
Lorraine Warren, 86, helped as a consultant in the making of “The Conjuring” and is still a paranormal investigator, according to the article. She maintains the frightful incidents depicted in the film did happen. Ed Warren died in 2006.
Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter in the family, is quoted as saying the film has, “many elements of truth to it, and some moments of fiction.”
I admit the truth at the backdrop of “The Conjuring” drew me in more than the thrill of being scared silly.
Whether you’re looking for just the fear factor or a thriller with a solid story and acting, this film delivers on both levels.
And, speaking from experience, you should rest easy and be nightmare-free afterward.

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