An Excellent Back-to-Basics Horror

Horror is most definitely part of the mainstream now as things like the highly popular TV shows are recruiting some serious Hollywood star power, with the talents of Laurence Fishburn, Kevin Bacon and Mads Mikkelsen, appearing in the likes of Hannibal and Bates Motel. There have been some great movies too recently (no, not found footage but made footage), like Mama, The Cabin in the Woods and the brilliantly gross Evil Dead. What those films have in common is the budget (and of course they were good) with them being modestly priced, apart for Cabin, which cost $30 million, but The conjuring was a very reasonable $13 million which is an average sort of budget for a horror. Evil Dead and Mama had similar costs.

This movie is set in the 70s and is based on a true story. It has been directed by James Wan (he of Saw fame) and stars Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy) and the talented Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel). Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine Warren are demonologists who handled the famous Amityville Horror investigation. this time they are looking into the out of the way, spooky home of a large family of seven in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The family consists of Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) and wife Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and their five daughters, played by Mackenzie Foy, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Kyla Deaver and Joey King. They have recently moved into the house but very soon thereafter begin to experience all sorts of weirdness. Like bad smells, birds smashing into the walls outside, loud noises, doors thumping shut and as if that’s not enough, Carolyn has bruises appearing on her body with no apparent cause.

As soon as the Warren’s start to look into it, Lorraine can tell that something just isn’t right with the Perron home, and the there are multiple demons possessing the place. It appears that this particular problem may infact go as far back as the infamous Salem Witch trials, but the more they investigate, the more pissed the demons become. Are they making matters worse or better? This was genuinely scary and from the second quarter, right to the end of the 112 minutes, it kept me rapt, as the tension was just perfect, and the story was like a throwback to the movies of the 70s and 80s, before everyone relied on CG to tell the story instead of simply writing one. I loved this movie and it’s well worth seeing if you’re in the mood for a good scare.

Grade: A-

Nav Qateel.

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