Since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated with well-known paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. I’ve seen countless interviews and documentaries featuring the duo and have always been particularly interested in their work concerning the infamous Amityville house (I highly recommend the History’s Mysteries episode entitled “Amityville: Horror or Hoax” to those interested in the Warrens and/or the Amityville haunting). That having been said, The Conjuring was pretty high on my must see list. My mom and I saw it earlier today and it did not disappoint!
Supposedly based on a true story, the film follows the Warrens (played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) as they attempt to help the Perron family rid their newly purchased Rhode Island farmhouse of evil entities. Set in the 1970s, the overall ambiance is extremely chilling (kudos to the director of photography!). The film does not deviate much from the traditional content of haunted house films and is comparable in many ways to The Amityville Horror. It features the usual suspects: possession, exorcism, a creepy child, etc. Although the content is par for the course, the execution is extremely well done. Farmiga and Wilson are brilliant in their roles. Despite the lack of gore/violence, the film delivers plenty of good scares and Annabelle is easily one of the scariest possessed dolls I have ever seen (including Chucky and the dummy in Dead Silence)!
Overall, the film is very entertaining and has earned a place as one of my new favorite haunted house movies, second only to The Amityville Horror and William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill. It is chilling without being excessively graphic, making it accessible to a broader audience. I highly recommend seeing it and be sure to keep an eye out for Lorraine Warren’s cameo (she is sitting in the front row at one of the onscreen Warrens’ lectures).