On paper, The Conjuring seems to be a run-of-the-mill horror film that will rely on the same usual premise, based around jump-scares, long-haired spirits and a slow-building but ultimately quite disappointing finale. It is quite refreshing that The Conjuring actually offers something a bit different and it lies in the “true story” element of the movie.
You can take the claim that any horror movie is based on “true events” with a pinch of salt but there is something about the central pair in The Conjuring and their incredible story. The movie is focused on a demon possessing and terrorising the usual, normal, average American family but the difference is the demon slaying pair that are called into help them.
Played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, The Warrens are a couple that genuinely investigate and attempt to help people who have had issues with supernatural phenomena. This sounds fairly spurious but add to the fact they have a museum of the Occult, with the prize possession being a possessed doll, and even a sceptic like myself begins to pay slightly more attention.
The film heavily used the possessed doll, Annabelle, in all the posters and other promotional footage. Her story does play a small part in the movie, and is one of the films highlights, but there is so much more here that could have sold the film on it’s own.
The families problem is handled very well. It may not be the most original story but the investigation of the Warrens gives it something slightly unique. Strange recordings, flashbulb encounters and a creepy exorcism are just some of the different ways that The Conjuring deliver the scares.
It’s a great idea to focus on the investigators and their run-ins with the supernatural and hopefully it means we get a decent horror franchise that can bring a new, different and original story with each new movie. The aspects, like Annabelle, that were at the fringes of the main story, gave a glimpse at the potential the series could have.
Overall, The Conjuring delivers a familiar style of horror movie in an different type of package. The added ingredient of The Warrens and their Museum of the Occult brings a fresh twist to the usual jump-scares and possession. This is the beginning of a franchise with a lot of potential.
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)