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The Conjuring

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In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron, along with their five young daughters, moved into an old farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The move was supposed to signal the start of their new lives, but their dream home soon turned into a nightmare.

Plagued by eerie noises, obscene smells and frightening apparitions, Carolyn reached out to renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. From the moment psychic Lorraine and “demonologist” Ed entered the farmhouse, they sensed that an ancient and powerful entity had invaded the Perrons’ home, but nothing could prepare them for the evil they were about to face.

Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor play Roger and Carolyn Perron, whose real-life experiences inspired this film. Livingston shines as the father and husband who is initially sceptical but becomes desperate to save his family as the attacks intensify. Taylor also delivers a strong performance as Carolyn, the dark entity’s primary victim; as the story unfolds, audiences can see a visible change in her physical and mental condition.

Equally compelling are Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, who would later become famous for their research into the Amityville horror.

Director James Wan’s decision to explore the haunting from the perspective of both the Warrens and the Perrons enables the audience to connect emotionally with each family, rather than seeing them simply as victims and heroes. The cast members deliver emotional performances, while remaining respectful to those who inspired this film. With its frightening and often violent scenes, The Conjuring presents a challenge to its child actors (including Mackenzie Foy from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2), but they handle it with maturity.

One of the most impressive aspects of this film is its noticeable lack of special effects, with Wan relying heavily on the audience’s imagination to provide the scares. Dark settings, creepy costumes and eerie sound effects create a tense atmosphere which keeps you on the edge of your seat and it’s often what you imagine in the darkness that scares you – although what springs out of it is pretty scary, too.

The film’s intensity is further amplified by the knowledge that it is based on actual events taken from the Warrens’ case files. Filled with heart-stopping scares, The Conjuring is a terrifying exploration of the supernatural and a must-see for horror fans. I’ll certainly be seeing it again – once my heart stops racing.

More InDaily film reviews:

Pacific Rim
Much Ado About Nothing
The Heat
In the House
Man of Steel
The Look of Love
After Earth
The Internship


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