The Conjuring (2013) Review

The-Conjuring-2013-Movie-TitleThere seems to be a general consensus amongst critics and moviegoers about the horror genre: it just isn’t what it used to be.  With maybe the exceptions of Sinister (2012) and Insidious (2010), nothing has really left a huge impression on audiences since the 1970s with genre classics such as The Exorcist (1973).  Saying that, for as good as Sinister and Insidious were, there was still something lacking in their formula that left me feeling dissatisfied with the end of both films.  So when I went to see The Conjuring (2013) the Friday that it came out, my expectations weren’t that high.

THE CONJURINGThe Conjuring follows story of the Perron’s, your typical working class family, who move into a new home in Rhode Island in 1971 and are terrorized by an evil entity.  In desperate need of help, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are contacted and uncover the houses dark history and agenda.

It’s your typical haunted house movie where the family moves in, the pet starts acting weird, the pet dies, things start to gradually escalate, someone might get possessed, throw an exorcism in there and BAM, you’ve got The Conjuring.  I’ve seen it a million times, it’s predictable, I know what’s probably going to happen!  But hey, I’m a sucker for a goodStill 6 from The Conjuring ghost story and The Conjuring, even though I knew what was going to be thrown at me at every turn, still caught me off guard and definitely left it’s impression on me (I slept with both legs underneath my blankets that night).

From acting to wardrobe, everything was ace in The Conjuring.  Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were excellent in their roles as investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston and the girls who played their daughters were believable in their role of the terrified family.

Since the film was set in the 1970s, there was a great authentic feel to it.  From wardrobe, props, even camera zooms, you can tell that The Conjuring definitely paid homage to the classic horrors from the 1970s.

And I have to say; the atmosphere in this movie was great!  It had some of the best buildups in a horror movie that I have ever experienced.  I felt very tense during the scenes that were called for, and even though in my head, I knew what was going to happen, I still jumped in my seat quite a few times (damn that ghost maid!).

There were few things that I didn’t like about the movie that are very miniscule.  I wasn’t a fan of the sappy romantic moments that Ed and Lorraine had, or the very brief flashback sequence of the family portrait at the beach that ultimately helps Carolyn Perron fight the demon inside of her.  But none of these things were overwhelming enough to sway my overall opinion of the film and probably just draw from my cynical attitude towards romance.

And even though a lot of people weren’t happy with the ending, I didn’t mind it!  We’ve become so accustomed to horror having endings in which the movie isn’t fully resolved like IMG_0278.dngthe characters thought it was that we expect all horror movies to now end with basically someone dying.  But I was glad that everything worked out for the Perron’s in the end.  I suppose that the exorcism at the end was rushed and not that climactic but I can live with that!  As for the very very end of the film, I enjoyed the nod that was given when Lorraine mentions “a house on Long Island” that they’ve been asked to look at.  If you haven’t been clued in, that house on Long Island was the infamous Amityville horror house.

And the closing scene with the music box toyed with the audiences’ feelings. It left me feeling tense and on edge… for what?  I’ll never know…

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A breath of fresh air, The Conjuring proves to us that sometimes the most effective way to scare an audience is to keep the formula simple.

Trailer: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

A new trailer has been released for Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), the anticipated sequel to the creepy and atmospheric horror Insidious (2010).

I enjoyed the atmosphere and tone of the first movie and am curious to see what they do with the sequel, seeing as the end of the first film was quite dramatic and abrupt.

Insidious: Chapter 2 will be released in theaters Friday, September 13, 2013.

Review: Evil Dead (2013)

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So I went to the movies for the first time since before Christmas (I think) and saw Evil Dead (2013) with my little sister who just turned 16 today.  Let me first start by saying that this is, in fact, not the scariest movie I have ever seen.  However, it is by no accounts a terrible film.

I’ve never seen the original The Evil Dead (1981) series, so I don’t know how true to the original this was.  I’m still unsure of whether that’s a good thing or not while writing this review.  Does it make my opinion of this irrelevant if I haven’t seen the original series?  I hope not!  Regardless, here we go… (This review will contain some spoilers)

Evil-Dead-2013.-Book-of-the-Dead-1.1In order to help his sister, Mia (Jane Levy), go through drug withdrawal, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and three other friends (Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore) bring her to their family’s cabin out in the middle of the woods to help with her rehabilitation.  During their stay, they discover a gruesome scene in the basement: dead cats hanging from the ceiling of their basement along with an ominous bound book.  With curiosity getting the best of him, one of the inhabitants of the house opens the book and reads from it, releasing an evil that possesses Mia and starts to consume each of them until only one is left to make a stand.

First things first, this film is EXTREMELY gory.  If you’re into that stuff, then this film is probably for you!  If gore is not your cup of tea, then you probably shouldn’t see this film!  A lot of the effects that were done in this movie were done with prosthetics and even though the results are nasty, they’re really impressive!  The only time I recall CGI being used was in a scene at the beginning of the movie where a possessed girl is burned alive.

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Jane Levy gave a stellar performance in this movie!  Her character was the only one that I can honestly say I really cared about, and I thought for sure that she was going to be the first to die.  I’m glad that she got to be the final girl.  She goes from being completely terrified to pure evil and it’s amazing to watch.  She also kicked ass in the final showdown.

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Other than Mia being the final girl, I felt that the rest of the movie was pretty predictable, probably because we’ve heard “the cabin the woods” story so many times.  I jumped once and it was over something that wasn’t even scary (which was embarrassing).  Maybe I’vejanelevy1 just become accustomed to horror movies and their dynamics and that’s why I wasn’t particularly scared while watching this film (that’s highly unlikely).  However, just because I didn’t find it scary doesn’t mean other people won’t think it’s scary.  And a lot of people really enjoyed this film.

Evil Dead is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  Even though I’ve never seen the original series, I hope that, for the fans, this film did it justice.