“The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges on which we decide to follow.”
– Ed Warren
The Perron family buys a new home in 1971 and moves in – this is their fresh start. However, their dog Sadie does not seem to be impressed with the home, no matter that Roger (Ron Livingston) and his wife Carolyn (Lili Taylor) seem very content. They find out that there is an abandoned and boarded up basement beneath the house, and establish that they will sort it out. From the outset, though, something seems wrong. Carolyn wakes with unexplained bruises on her body and sees a doctor at Roger’s insistence, and is given pills for an iron deficiency. Day two in the home, however, there is an issue. Sadie is dead, and the five Perron daughters are quite upset by this. The clocks in the house all seem to stop at 03h07 without fail every morning.
Initially this does not set anything off with the family, however later it becomes evident that something is happening. Roger takes a job with his rig that takes him to Florida for a week. Alone in the house, Carolyn realizes something is dreadfully wrong. She and her children suffer dreadfully by what seems to be an incredibly vicious haunting – Carolyn falls victim to an attack in the basement. The eldest daughter, Andrea (Shanley Caswell), is once again woken by her sleepwalking sister Cindy (Mackenzie Foy). Andrea is attacked by a malevolent spirit, and Roger makes it home just in time to witness all that is wrong with the house.
Carolyn seeks out Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), desperately in need of their help. Her family is cursed or haunted, she is sure of it, and only these paranormal investigators can help. At first Ed and Lorraine are reluctant, until it is apparent that Carolyn is desperate, and they make a turn past the house. Lorraine is a gifted clairvoyant, and upon entering the house establishes that some evil has attached itself to the family. The Warrens explain to the Perrons that the only way the Catholic Church will sanction an exorcism of the house is through an investigation so that proof can be presented.
Soon Ed and Lorraine are in full swing, digging up the history of the property and previous owners as well as other odd occurrences around the area. Ed is worried about his wife, who was very badly affected in an exorcism a few months ago. She loses a part of herself every time she works these cases. Though he is glad to have her with him, he is also afraid he will lose her due to the line of work. The Perrons need help, and when Ed and Lorraine call in their assistants to help check out the house, things seriously go wrong.
Will the Warrens be able to cleanse the house for the Perrons? What exactly has caused such a black stain on the house, and how will they be able to defeat it? Will the children ever be alright again after all is said and done? Will Lorraine be able to survive another ordeal like the faulted exorcism months before, and will Ed be able to deal with it if anything does happen?
The Conjuring scores a solid 8/10. This is what you want from a horror. It was well directed, it looked good, the actors were great for what they did and the effects were good. The way everything looked was creepy, too. I enjoyed the progression of the story telling, not too fast and not too slow. It was paced enough to really get under your skin and make it crawl. The film keeps you hooked from the very off, and that is something that rarely happens with a horror flick. I was watching so intently, and everything seemed to just work. I was far more impressed that I expected to be, and I can understand now why it got such an immensely positive response – it really just was that good! This film definitely delivers bags of eerie and some scares, and the atmosphere is just plain down scary at the best of times and the presentation was simply spine-chilling. I enjoyed every second of this movie, and it had me at the edge of teh seat from the get go. It has been an incredibly long time since any type of movie like this actually got something from me, but James Wan knew exactly what he was doing with this, and implemented it so well. Vera Farmiga really is a talented actress. She was absolutely great as Lorraine Warren, giving the character plenty of weight. This would definitely be the film to freak out those that scare easily and have weak stomachs, so just bear that in mind, though it is well worth the watch.