It's during the 70s that Roger (Ron Livingston, Office Space) and Carolyn Perron (Lily Taylor, The Haunting) moved their five daughters into a tattered New England home, which has a dark history the family is unaware of. The immense dead tree in the yard, the shadowy lake, and large ominous house act as foretellers, but that apparently isn't enough to steer this family away from home ownership. As expected, the mysterious occurrences happen from the beginning, though the pacing of paranormal activity is slow as the momentum of the film builds. April (Kyla Deaver), is the Perron's youngest daughter, and is the first to come in contact with the other side when she finds an antique music box. It's through the music box that she begins to see a young boy close to her own age.
After some time and several incidents, Carolyn cannot deny that something powerful and evil is terrorizing her home; she seeks the help of Ed (Patrick Wilson, Watchmen) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga, Higher Ground). The Warren's are known for their expertise and experience with the supernatural. Lorraine, a clairvoyant, immediately senses the forces inside the home during her first visit. They later uncover the history of the property and determine the only possible way the Perron family would ever be completely safe is a sanctioned exotericism of the home performed by the Catholic Church. In the meantime, things escalate and as the evil forces react to the constant and threatening presence of Ed, Lorraine, and their team of investigators. It's soon evident that the Perrons are not the only ones in danger.
Director James Wan (Insidious), successfully reinvents the classic horror flick. The film is light on gore, but heavy with suspense and edge of your seat moments. It seems the audience cringes most at what's not there than what is revealed. He masterfully builds tension at just the right moments until the scene erupts with a crescendo. In one scene Christine (Joey King), one of the daughters, is awaken by one of the demonic forces. Her slow search of the dark room turned up nothing visually for the audience, but nonetheless turned out be one of the most terrifying scenes, leaving the audience in a prolonged state of anticipationall the while waiting for the big scare.
An experienced cast further propels The Conjuring. The five young ladies cast as the daughters all perform excellently and plays "scared to death" quite convincingly. The four veteran leads: Farmiga, Wilson, Livingston, and Taylor are brilliantly, though Farmiga and Taylor pilot this feature as the tortured female leads. Whether you're a believer or skeptic, the film is worth a viewing.
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