It’s not often I get the chance to go to the cinema and watch a horror film I actually like the look of, so with The Conjuring 2 coming out I thought I’d give the first one a try in preparation for watching the second next weekend. I’ve never seen this film and I’m of the opinion that haunting/ghost/exorcism films are either really good or really bad.
Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston
Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)
Run time: 112 minutes
This film revolves around a family moving into a new home and experiencing supernatural events, pretty standard for a ghosty type film. However it also brings in Ed and Lorraine Warren who’s characters are based on the real life paranormal investigators of the same name.
The film is based on a true story, (believe as much of that as you want) Roger Perron and his wife Carolyn move to an old farmhouse with their daughters Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy and April. When they arrive the kids play a game clap and hide, one kid is blindfolded and spun around the rest go and hide and have to clap as the blindfolded kid tries to find them. During this game they accidentally break some paneling and discover a cellar, although it’s claimed that they didn’t know it was there I find it odd as I’m sure there’s windows on the bottom of the house, surely they’d notice that when viewing the house.
The house looks nice from the outside but inside it’s a bit like The Babadook where they’ve made it look exactly how you’d expect a haunted house to look
Anyway after opening up the basement the daughters start to experience some really weird stuff through the night and the mother starts to get bruises all over her body. It’s here where the film excels, the haunting elements are amazingly well done as they should be with a $20 million budget. We get the usual floating bodies, strange noises, spooky visions of a witch type creature, creepy closets just about everything is thrown in there to really create a great creepy atmosphere.
After some strange goings on Carolyn Perron visits a lecture by Ed and Lorraine Warren, she asks for their help and reluctantly they go along but they always go in thinking that the cases will be explained away as nothing. Once there, they set their equipment up and dig up some history on the house and find out that it is indeed paranormal.
After seeing Annabelle I can really understand why it got it’s own film
Things get worse and even the Warren’s daughter at their home is visited by Annabelle who goes on to have it’s own film. The need for an exorcism of the house is great but the church is dragging it’s feet in granting Ed Warren what he needs, he takes matters into his own hands and like most ghost stories everything pretty much returns to normal.
The acting is top notch whenever I see Patrick Wilson (Ed Warren) or Lili Taylor (Carolyn Perron) they are always at least solid in their roles and often better. The actors who played the kids were also pretty good in their roles add to that Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren and you’ve got a really strong cast for this film.
The cast is top notch especially Patrick Wilson who I always like seeing
The effects are top class but as I said earlier this is to be expected when you throw a budget of $20 million at a film. Every scene that had some sort of ghost or haunting in it looked brilliant and added creepiness to the film something a lot of ghost films get wrong.
The pacing is really good in the film, I didn’t find any part of it to drag at all. From the initial paranormal things the family experienced to calling in the Warrens and then having the increased activity right to the end flowed really nicely.
There’s always someone levitating in these types of films!
I can’t really think of many bad things about this film, was it perfect? No but nothing really stood out as being badly done. I’d have liked to have known a bit more about the Warrens but I suppose the film is more based on the family’s experiences than the Warren’s life.
One thing I found a bit odd was Ed helping Roger fix an old car, I get why it was done, to develop a relationship between the two but for me it was a bit pointless.
This is a must watch film if you’re a fan of this type of horror movie, great acting, great effects and a nicely paced story make for enjoyable viewing throughout. Now I’m really looking forward to watching the sequel.