Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Conjuring

by Reymundo Salao

THE CONJURING is a supernatural horror movie about the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971.

James Wan has already gained enough recognition when he had his breakthrough creation; the SAW movies. But Wan's other movies that followed, such as INSIDIOUS, had diverted from the more visual elements of horror and into the more cerebral and dramatic elements, gradually gaining a strong understanding of what really makes his audiences be haunted by the sensation of Fear. [hit the jump to continue]

Apart from having a cast that really delivers the acting chops to convincingly bring to life this insidiously haunted tale (yes, all of them are superb in this movie), Wan himself knows how to create the perfect mood and setting for what could possibly be one of the best ghost movies since THE POLTERGEIST. This movie is truly frightening, and with the fact that it injects all elements of what a really good scary movie should simply be (minus the unnecessary gore), it easily establishes itself as a true horror classic. THE CONJURING is one HELL of a ghost horror masterpiece.

The Conjuring weaves a story based on actual events and actual people, and that is one factor that makes the movie incredibly appealing to many people. Because we would sometimes lazily leave off and ignore the duty of confirming the validity of whether the movie did mirror the actual events or not, as a result, we simply assume these adaptations to be accurate depictions of reality. That way, we get to grasp the idea that what horrors that are happening on the screen may happen to us. The level of paranoia gets to the audiences and makes them experience the fear first-hand.

But the story is so engagingly good and so dramatically rich, that some skeptics will surely feel that the movie injects a large chunk of edits and additions in order to make it cinematically suspenseful enough and so structurally ideal for what a horror movie could do.

The movie delves into ghost horror territory then injects some elements of witchcraft and exorcism in such a way that makes perfect sense, and does take the eerie sensation evoked by the film into a more heart-pounding kind of horror; a gradual horror ride that starts mellow then transcends to be mindblowingly scary. And the movie achieves this without the use of flashy computer-generated effects. Instead, it employs good old, tried and tested horror movie effects gimmicks

THE CONJURING proved that it does not take some grand budget to make a really good, really effective horror movie. Most of the effects in this movie have been made by really simple tricks that could easily be achieved by a shoestring budget.

Director James Wan has proven that his mastery in horror is not dependent on gore elements and shock factor; he has proven that he really understands what truly gets his audiences scared. And over the course of his filmography, he has remained consistent with his quality and gradually evolving upwards, culminating into the kind of discipline he injects into THE CONJURING. It is now easy to assume that James Wan truly is the new master of horror.

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