I'm extremely picky about my horror films. I want movies that will give me a legitimate ghoulish, creepy, and paranoid experience not jump scares. If I wanted jump scares I could ask someone to hide in a corner and jump out at me. But wicked dread is something not easily done and it is something to be cherished in films that can provide it.
The Conjuring is one of those films. I was initially hesitant to purchase it on Itunes despite the good trailer and good reviews. Because if it turned out to be awful I would be extremely angry over having wasted money on it. But I took the chance and I was glad that I did.
The film gets all its elements just right. Instead of rushing the haunted aspects, the film spends a good amount of time with the Perron family and builds their characterization. It even spends home time with the Warrens (supernatural investigators) which is also good. All this time spent on the quotidian ramps up the chills because it allows the audience to genuinely care about all of the characters. The pacing and escalation of the haunting is also done very well. I never felt it was rushed nor dragged out to interminable length. The only nitpick is the reveal of the apparition. That kind of lets the gas out of the bag toward the end of the film. It would have been nice if the reveals were kept to quick shots, out of focus shots etc. so that the focus is not on the ghoul's makeup job but the fact that we think (THINK) it is appearing. That is all I will discuss about the film because it is really too good to be spoiled for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
Cinematography wise it is an extremely gorgeous film to behold. Which is rare in the horror genre. The mise en scene of the early 70's was also fantastic. It definitely brought back memories of my babyhood in the 1970's. The haunted house itself, is simultaneously homey, gothic, welcoming and forbidding all at once.
All in all this is a fantastic film and I recommend it for this year's Halloween season.
Labels: commentary, culture, horror, movies, reviews