Despite having made Insidious, director 's legacy is still pegged to Saw. After all, it was a full-fledged phenomenon that help create the torture porn genre that dominated most of the early-to-mid 2000s. However, if the early reviews of The Conjuring are any indication, this will be one of the surprise hits of the summer and could become his strongest directorial effort yet. The film is based on the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (the couple behind such famous stories as The Amityville Horror and The Haunting in Connecticut). You can read more about them and see a video of Lorraine Warren here. Even early on, this movie generated very positive buzz as it was one of the few horror movies to get an R-rating from the MPAA, despite having little to no gore. It's apparently just that scary. Here's what the reviews are saying so far:
Most thrillers stop being terrifying when their mysteries are revealed, but in the screenplay by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes ("Whiteout," "The Reaping"), the more we know, the more we dread. And again, one person's edge-of-the-seat screamfest has another person checking their watch. As for me, I was screaming. Out loud. Which I generally don't do in crowded theaters.
Wilson, who was also in Insidious, has an easy rapport with Farmiga, suggesting a couple that has seen their share of terrors, which has affected them but hasn’t shaken their business-like approach to the paranormal. Livingston, who appeared in the cable miniseries Band Of Brothers, is still probably best known for his comedic roles in Office Space and Swingers, and yet he’s effortlessly sympathetic and compelling as the worried father powerless to protect his family from this growing threat inside their new home. And veteran character actor Lili Taylor has one of her best roles in years, playing a mother whose mysterious newfound bruises portend a dark fate.
One of the details I loved here in the script by Chad and Carey Hayes is the room the Warrens keep in their house that is filled with all the artifacts that they've come into contact with over the years that are either cursed or somehow tainted by evil.
Brad Miska (aka Mr. Disgusting) at BD was able to reconnect with the feeling of being a scared kid:
In the first act of The Conjuring, one of the children has her leg pulled as she sleeps. Panicking, she looks under the bed in a solid homage to Poltergeist. The camera twists and turns upright as she stares in horror at a black shadow behind her door. This moment, which I’ve glazed over, is the high note of the film. This is the scene that will have the hair on your arms standing straight up, and your brain screaming in excitement, “Holy crap, is this movie really going to be THIS good?” This is also when I realized that, for a brief moment, James Wan had reconnected me with my youth and rattled me. It’s a core-shaking sequence that’s so viciously terrifying, yet you barely see anything. It’s a master artist painting the most wonderful picture.
You guys, I can't even take it. I want it to be July 19 now, so I can be terrified surrounded by people in a packed theater. This one seems like it's going to be really special.