Horror, no other genre of film offends as much as this except for pornography. While the criticism of one is justifiable, that of porn, I have always felt the criticism of the other is not as justified as some think. I have said for years, and still do, no other genre of film portrays the battle of good vs. evil or the power of light over darkness better than Horror. With the release of The Conjuring, we not only have one of the scariest movies in years but possibly the scariest movie ever. It is surprisingly spiritual with a strong emphasis on we overcome evil with God, and God alone. The other startling, statement is the devil exists and he and his demons are out to destroy all that is good.
The Conjuring is presented as a more true than not story. It is the story of a haunting that took place and according to many still takes place in Harrisville Rhode Island. The movie is the story of the Perron family who lived in the house for approximately 10 years starting in 1970. The experienced haunting in the house shortly after moving in and according to Andrea Perron in her book House of Darkness, House of Light, the day they moved into the house. The events in the house became so severe that they eventually brought in the assistance of the Warren’s played in the film by Vera Farmiga, most recently of the television show Bates Hotel and Patrick Wilson who plays the part of Ed Warren. Farmiga plays the part of Lorraine Warren. The real Lorraine Warren has a brief cameo in the film.
The Warren’s noted for their paranormal investigations over the years, including their investigations in the real Amityville Horror tale are also noted for their faith and belief that ghosts are manifestations of demons. Much like The Amityville Horror there is likely to be controversy surrounding this tale as to what is true and what is not. The producers and Perron family, including the two parents and all 5 children claim the film is true with the exception of a few dramatic licenses. Even in some of those licenses though, there is truth but related to other events with other individuals. The story line is scary, thought provoking and entertaining.
The Conjuring is a well crafted film and one that will easily recover the $12,000,000 it cost to make. The cast is superb. I especially enjoyed the work by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga but the supporting cast all around. There are several things in this movie one needs to pay attention to, especially to understand the excellent craftsmanship by director James Wan. First and foremost I recommend paying attention to the sound and editing. I believe a possible Oscar nomination for editing, it is par excellence. The scare tactics used here are at times expected, other times not, yet they will have you jumping out of your seat, even at times screaming out loud, there are genuine scare moments. The other area regarding sound is an area I want to make sure to mention. I not only suspect an Oscar nomination here, this movie has to presently be a odds on favorite for the award. I have seen few films that use the concepts of sound as powerfully. The Conjuring plays not only on our visual senses but it powerfully plays on our emotions and hearing. Sound is a powerful tool and the use of sound here is as powerful as any movie I have seen. That with a well scripted tale, wonderful use of light and a script that meshes together. This movie not only scares the viewer but entertains them.
This film reeks (in a good way) with spiritual overtones. Many will consider it the scariest movie ever; others will say that it is the scariest movie since The Exorcist. The amazing thing is this movie and The Exorcist both deal with Demonic Possession and both were based on true stories. I personally liked The Conjuring better and that says something for me. There is an even stronger message related to the ability of good to overcome evil, light to penetrate and overcome dark, and ultimately, the ability of God to defeat Satan. Unfortunately, I suspect many people of faith will be as critical of this film as they have been of horror and supernatural themes, including exorcism and demonic possession as they have been in the past. That is a shame, especially with such strong Biblical themes regarding demonic possession, even the son of God, Jesus Christ performing demonic exorcisms along with his disciples. Many people of faith seem to choose to live in a world where they ignore the reality of evil, yet that evil clearly exists. At some point it is in understanding evil and the fear of evil that one becomes best equipped to defeat the evil around them and in the lives of those they love. In real life The Warren’s seemed to understand this and it is portrayed excellently in The Conjuring.
In the battle against evil another perspective presented in a thought provocative way is the reality that when attacking evil, that evil in return will attack not just those attacking it but the families and loved ones of those attacking it. In one poignant scene; Ed Warren is placing crosses around the Parren’s house. He is asked what he is doing and he explains the power of the cross. He also makes a profound statement, the demons and spirits hate it, in fact, “it pisses them off,” so much so that the person(s) attacking the evil forces can expect to be attacked from those “pissed off entities.” We see this come about and it is a powerful reminder of the reality of the forces many face. People of faith who choose to engage in the battle I believe God has called us to in various places in the Bible know this. We need to remember; when the Bible says, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against us,” the implication is that we are on the attack, not sitting back, we aren’t to hide from, stay away from, we are to be on the attack, the bible makes clear, we are not in a battle against flesh and blood but against principalities and darkness. We have many reminders in the Bible including, “That greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world!” While many may choose to stay out of the battle of good and evil, the reality is the battle goes on around us. The other reality is this, we need to prepare, movies like this I believe help those of faith understand the need of preparation and for those without faith, the reality of the evil that exists around us.
For those who read my reviews you know I normally withhold from a lot of spiritual commentary but it is impossible to review a film of this nature without doing so because the message and theme related to spirituality is so strong. I love movies like this when they are well done and The Conjuring is done exceptionally.
There were only a few areas I thought The Conjuring could have been tightened up; a little more character development would have been nice but the movie still worked. For this reason, on a scale of 1 – 10, for the number of letters in conjuring, I give a well deserved; almost perfect 9 for this film. I consider it a must see for all people of faith, seeking truth in spirituality, or even those questioning the reality of evil. Many may not like it for various reasons but it doesn’t change the reality of the spiritual forces around us and the attacks of evil on all of that which is good and from God.
Now from those people of faith who will be critical without seeing the movie, who think all things horror is evil, (except all those horror stories in the scripture) let the criticism not begin, but continue.
Visit the following web site to read up more on the real story of The Conjuring: http://www.chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/conjuring.php
You can also see a review of the film, by the real life Andrea Perron, one of the people who lived the experience, to see the review simply click on the video below. If the video doesn’t appear, click on the following link: