Release date in Malaysia: 1st of August 2013
Distributor / studio: Warner Bros. Pictures / New Line Cinema, Evergreen Media Group, The Safran Company
Running Time: 112 minutes
Director: James Wan
Writers: Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Carolyn Perron, Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Haley McFarland, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Sterling Jerins
Synopsis: Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story, “The Conjuring” tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.
Verdict: A cliched haunted house-exorcism horror flick that’s beautifully filmed with mad camera works and sound effects that may keep all audience gripping on their seats practically the entire movie. Director James Wan manages to make this considerably light horror movie creepy and at the same time, fun to watch. Brilliant buildups and heart-dropping teases but nothing that’d make you recall at night (not for me at least). It makes me feel like seeing his previous film, Insidious (2011), which I had snubbed in the past. However, The Conjuring is almost completely spoilt by the trailers (most of the scares are already shown in them), unsatisfying predictable climax/ending and extremely poor performance by Ron Livingston, who failed to put on any expression of urgency for his role as Roger Perron, a supposedly loving and caring husband-father character.
Second opinion: “I covered my eyes most of the time…” (girlfriend).
Malaysian censorship: I don’t recall anything being out of place. There isn’t gore, extreme violence, nudity or anything like that so I believe there’s really nothing to cut. Christianity is, however, touched a bit.
Rating: 3 / 5
Movie stills / images: View ’em here.
[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]————————————————————————-
The true story: The Perron family actually stayed at that house for 10 years even though they were experiencing disturbing incidents. Apparently, the real Ed and Lorraine Warren actually didn’t manage to help much and instead, made things worse for them. According to the real Andrea Perron (the eldest daughter played by actress Shanley Caswell in the movie), the Warrens “opened a door that they weren’t able to close”. She still goes back there today once in a while ’cause she feels that it “feels like home” (source: CBSnews.com). With that being said, the events in film are largely fictional.
Plot holes: The Perron family’s dog dies strangely right on the second day they moved in but none of them seem to care to find out the cause and when the Warrens come over, they mention only about the dead birds. If the purpose of Bathsheba (the witch spirit who’s haunting the house) is to possess every mother to kill their children, why can’t she just possess Carolyn Perron (Lily Taylor) immediately and get it over with instead of playing around with them for the entire film? At the end, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) condemns Bathsheba “back to hell” and solves the whole ordeal, but it seems that she’s been haunting the house since she died so… I think she’s actually never been to hell and hence the exorcism shouldn’t have worked right?