Thursday, October 31, 2013

Based On A True Story - Day 30

No matter what, when I see the words 'based on a true story' at the beginning of a horror movie, my skin crawls a bit. As was the case with last night's Horrorfest pick.

Title: The Conjuring
Year: 2013
Synopsis: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Tagline: Look what you made me do.

If the names Lorraine and Ed Warren ring bells to you, it's probably because you know the tale of the Amityville Horror. Another spooky movie based on actual events, how loosely, I can't be sure. These experienced paranormal demonologists have apparently investigated over ten thousand cases, that's a lot of scares. Furthermore, these people keep objects from their cases in a museum, in their house. This is not something I would encourage, then again, I'm saner than I first appear.

Unlike a lot of other people, I am not a huge fan of director James Wan. I thought Saw was okay, but relied on shock value to entertain, and Insidious was boring and cliched. Thankfully, I don't boycott movies based on director alone. Actually, I was quite looking forward to The Conjuring because out of the four main characters, I disliked none of the actors portraying them. Okay, you might roll your eyes at that, thinking it isn't a good enough reason to get excited over a film, but do you know how hard it is to find an awesome  ensemble cast where you don't hate any of the leads? Virtually impossible.

If you are a seasoned horror watcher, you've seen the tricks within before. Doors move on their own. People are animated without their control. Objects appear out of nowhere. Pictures fall off walls. And when you are looking over here at this cute little family, something is going to appear on the other side of the room. Or jump off a wardrobe. Oh, and anyone who has seen any exorcism in any form, either on YouTube or in a movie, then you have seen at least a piece of the Conjuring pie. That said, it is because these things work to scare that they are used over-and-over again. I will openly admit that I actually screamed out loud during one part. For serious. I was knee deep in the movie, riveted to the screen, unable to look away, and then the door moved and I let loose a scream any thirteen year old girl would be mortified by.

What I liked about this, is that it took two Warren cases and made them come together. I also enjoyed the gaggle of girls who are part of the Perron family brood. A lot of these horror movies are reliant on the acting skills of young children. A lot of the time, it misses, but all of the girls in this movie were good actresses, and I blame the girl who got pulled across her bed for roping me into the movie so far that I got vocal.

Here's the thing. If I bought a house and there is a boarded up cellar, which happens to be where the furnace is, you can bet your ass I would be asking, "Why is this cellar boarded up?" Sure, this family asks it, but they don't delve in and try to figure out why someone would cover it up. Granted, they didn't have a lot of time, their visitors come out to play pretty quickly. Which is just another thing to like. The lack of time wasting. I find in so many new horror movies they meander all over the place before getting to the good stuff, or they unload too much too soon. The Conjuring is right smack dab in the middle of that. It brings on the scares quickly, but it doesn't reveal too much.

By the time I was halfway through I'd already made up my mind. I liked it. And that lasted straight through to the end.
I would never keep this creepy doll anywhere near my home.

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