One of those rare horror films that should you watch by yourself, you'll end up wishing someone would join you, at times The Conjuring becomes too scary to continue but that's the sign of a good horror film, the adrenaline kicks in and the fear builds. Startling, very chilling and frightening, I dare you to watch it on your own and put yourself through the torture of watching it in the dark.
First off, I want to mention how detailed and rich the sound design is in this film. You can feel the cold air moving through the haunted home, all the thudding and creaky sounds emphasise the unnerving atmosphere. The Conjuring is an effective horror that offers a handful of body shuddering jumps and frightening images. James Wan's camerawork is a technical dream and the score is frightening, those horns at the beginning of the credits haunt me now.
I thought the opening was incredible, the Annabelle doll is truly terrifying, that gloomy stare in those haunting eyes is unsettling, within the first minute of the film you'll have shivers, now that's rare nowadays for horror.
The cast are brilliant, I love Vera Farmiga, she's excellent in every role and yet again she delivers a powerful performance with emotional heft, plus having the always reliable Patrick Wilson alongside her is awesome, they are a wonderful spirit hunting duo. Lili Taylor is undeniably the scene stealer, the look of fear she has is enough to make you feel her terror, and her performance is seamless.
The younger cast are so convincing, the acting in this movie feels so smooth and realistic, it's as if they just forget the cameras and breathe life into their characters, and Joey King is a rising talent. The atmosphere is so heavy and dense you could cut it with a knife, this movie is so unpredictable making the build up to the shocks nail biting. This is a great horror from James Wan, and although it's not as good as Insidious, it stands tall in the genre and there's a sequel coming up so there's more conjuring to occur.