Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga The Conjuring

HOLLYWOOD—I’m an avid horror buff; I love a great scary movie, but I honestly cannot recall the last time a movie left me so unnerved, that it stayed on my mind for countless days after seeing it.  “The Conjuring” is a clever, wicked scarefest.  It’s a picture that delves dip into the supernatural realm that tells the story of the Perron family, led by patriarchs Carloyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston).

The scary element of this movie is that it’s based on a true story.  That notion alone will place many people in the theater seat who want to know how the story truly unfolded. The movie works so well because you feel and fear for the lives of these characters; bad things are happening to these people and it’s quite frightening to see them unfold on the screen.

Vera Famiga delivers a powerful performance as paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, as does her co-star Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren.  She brings a strong emotional arc to a character that propels a heavy portion of the drama in the picture.  It’s important to note this isWilson’s third time working alongside director James Wan. The duo first worked together in the 2011 hit “Insidious;” the sequel to that chapter arrives this September.

Wan does a stellar job of capturing the scares on the screen.  Just like “Insidious” the allure of the director is his ability to take the simplest elements and to turn them into epic scares.  There is a tense moment involving a pair of clapping hands which will leave audiences unnerved. The most important aspect of any horror film is suspense, and this picture captures it with so little effort.  The buildups of the scares are carefully planned and its no surprise that something is going to happen, the surprise is when it actually happens. Timing and camera placement are key, which Wan nails with perfection in my opinion.

“The Conjuring” resonates back to the classic haunted house picture, where the scares are just one aspect of the movie.  This picture has characters that are well built, including the Perron family, not just the parents, but the children as well, who become victims of these vengeful spirits inside the house.  Nothing is more terrifying than to see a child become the victim of evil and the ghosts of this picture takes no prisoners at all.  The script written by siblings Carey and Chad Hayes is clever, twisted and a thrill a minute.

Summer is not know for horror flicks, but perhaps it should become a trend as “The Conjuring” delivers all the right elements of not only a sensational thriller, but a sensational movie as well.  Word is already stirring that a sequel to the picture is in the works.  If it earns big at the box-office this weekend, it’s a done deal.

By LaDale Anderson