For many horror fans, 2013 has been a year LONG awaited. Two titles Evil Dead, Conjuring were the talk of the genre for quite sometime, and now having both been released, I think its safe to say; Horror hasn’t been so good, in SO long. In the last ten years, there has only been a handful of horror films that were completely pleang. Thankfully, 2013 has came at us with two greats.
Evil Dead for me, was an all around, great horror film. Ade from some of the jaw dropping, gore infested moments, I also genuinely enjoyed myself as a horror fan. The Conjuring, thankfully, was poured in the same mold.
I have had an interest in this film nce it was announced that James Wan was attached, after the horror success that was INDIOUS. For me, INDIOUS was one of the best horror films we had in a while; so eyes were definitely on him to come through once more. The whole, “This is going to be great,” vibe only continued as cast members were brought on. From the great Lili Taylor, The Haunting, Hemlock Grove who won me over with her performance in The Haunting, to Patrick Wilson INDIOUS, Watchmen who has given a solid performance EVERY time, to the AMAZING Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, Up in the Air who has the ability to steal you attention in every frame, it was clear that we were in for greatness.
Once test screenings were held, and the HUGE response came back, I quickly boiled over with excitement. Then, something odd happened. The studio shifted its release from the coveted, beginning of the year spot, to a mid summer release. In the horror genre, some people may have found this to be writing their own death certificate…however its safe to say, it worked out in their favor. Even after achieving an R rating from the MPAA, the studio still held faith that this film would do great things in a typical “blockbuster” time slot. The R rating begin to draw in buzz of its own, once the reasoning became public. A film that was shot to achieve a PG-13 score, was slapped with an R for being too scary? When was the last time you heard that?
Still, after MONTHS of anticipation, July 19th finally came around. I had purposely waited until the beginning of the week to attempt to watch this film, so I didn’t have to deal with the typical, obnoxious crowds of the weekend. Still, on a Monday afternoon, the theatre was nearly full. As the lights dimmed, and the studio logo came on, the eerie muc began to play and everyone fell lent. From the opening frame, to the last shot of the movie, the entire audience was hooked. It was one of those films, that I literally watched everyone remain in their seats for a few extra moments to let everything nk in once it came to an end.
From the very beginning, this film has the “old school horror” vibe that Wan’s previous film toyed with. It is beautifully shot, with every scene being captivating to the eye, and never has a dull moment. The acting abilities of everyone on screen, was the best I had seen nce “Mama.” It was even on the level that “Scream” was with pure acting talent. For me, that is what pushes a horror movie to the next level. Sure, a director can throw things at you, so you jump. Or even set up very suspenseful scenes, but if the actor isn’t making you believe, it loses its scare value.
The movie is a gradual, scare building film, much like “Paranormal Activity” versus the in your face scares of “INDIOUS.” Every moment of screen time is used to set up the next, and has no pointless moments what so ever. The story flows very smoothly, and unfolds when the time was right. Nothing was rushed, or took too long to come in to the light. The actual scares in this film, for me, were less jumpy, and more unsettling. It really thrived on tenon. Not to say Wan didn’t give us a fair share of jump scares, because he did. Yet, the moments that I truly remember, are those that made my skin crawl, and eyes water. The Conjuring will never be denied the fact that it has truly haunting images, that will linger with you after you leave the theatre.
Many times, the film shocked me, with things shown on screen. “Fuck that,” rang through my mind, more than once. While the scares weren’t as, in your face, as Renai chang a ghost child through her house in INDIOUS; There are a few scenes that push the boundaries as far as supernatural horror films go. Its one of the things that I love about Wan and Whannell together as a director, writer team. Truth be told, im not sure anyone but the two of them could have pulled off this movie.
Unlike their last supernatural film, The Conjuring deals with religion. Not to the extent of “The Exorcist” or “Emily Rose” but enough to make things seem a bit more real. For me, being raised Pentecostal, a hint of religion can take things from scary, to disturbing. That’s not to say you need to have a religious background for the movie to have an effect on you, because im sure that regardless, something will stick with you once its over. However, its been a while nce a horror movie had the perfect mixture, for me.
In the end, this film is one of the best horror films I have ever sat through. I am fully confident that it will be one to, “Show the kids” later on in life. An instant clasc, if you will. Not nce the original Amityville Horror has a haunted house movie been so great.
The film has literally two moments, that I remember, where language was used. There is no sex, to be seen on camera, and no hardly any gore whatsoever. So parents who are thinking of bringing a child interested in seeing this film, don’t worry about any of that.
All in all, I say this film is a must see, and even beats the great Evil Dead remake we were blessed to have a few months ago. Even if the film doesn’t scare you, in any way, you will still walk away with the feeling that you just watched a great movie. So please, don’t hetate to watch.
10/10 for me