Blu-ray Review: The Conjuring

Seeing as how I never got the chance to review James Wan’s The Conjuring when it scared up theaters back in July, I figured a Blu-ray review only made sense. Hitting shelves on October 22nd, acclaimed director James Wan’s The Conjuring follows a pair of paranormal investigators who help a family haunted by a demonic force, only to find themselves trapped in their own horrifying nightmare. The film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren; Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor as Roger and Carolyn Perron.

Film Review:

There was a lot riding on James Wan’s shoulders when he decided to bring the Perron family’s story to life as it marked one of the most important hauntings that Ed and Lorraine Warren ever investigated. We’ve seen haunted house flicks time and time again, but rarely are we ever treated to a straight-forward slow burning ride like this one. The film follows the true story of world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who 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 horrifying case of their lives.

The film’s biggest strength is its patience. The reason why Wan has become such a force in the genre is because he understands that when you want a horror film to get under the audience’s skin, sometimes less is more—and that’s exactly the approach he takes with The Conjuring. So many of today’s horror films think that just because it’s supposed to be scary they have to shove as many “scares” down our throats as possible within 90 minutes; which results in a mess of jump scares that get old pretty quick. Wan’s film goes down a much different path, however, as he actually had the writers take out a lot of the “scares” because he wanted to build proper tension before scaring the audience—and it worked brilliantly.

It’s one of the very few horror films that actually lives up to the hype and while a lot of that has to do with Wan’s masterful direction, the chemistry between both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga really bring this one to life. We knew Wilson was going to be great as he’s worked with Wan in the past, but Farmiga was an absolute blast as Lorraine Warren and I can’t wait to see her take on the role once again as both her and Wilson have signed on for multiple films.

I have no complaints here. Every terrifying second of Wan’s film is just leading you towards its brilliant final act in which we see the best exorcism scene in recent memory. Wan has created a true haunted house flick and one that will not likely be topped any time soon. The film perfectly balances scares and tension with a chilling score that slowly creeps under your skin until the credits finally roll. It’s exactly what a horror film should be—scary, tense and unforgettable. Wan may be moving out of the world of horror for a while, but he has no doubt left one hell of a terrifying stamp on the genre.

4/5

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Special Features Review:

Special features can really be a hit or miss. Sometimes you’ll pick up a Blu-ray and see that there are an overwhelming amount of extras that will take days to pour through, while others skimp out on the goods completely. The special features on The Conjuring sort of fit in between the two. There’s not a whole lot to chew on as you only get three featurettes and neither of them are very long. That being said, each and every one of them are very informative, giving you a lot of details in a short amount of time. If you like to get through the extras in one sitting, then you’ll really dig these.

The Conjuring: Face-to-Face with Terror – Here we get a pretty fascinating look at the true story behind the entire film as we get to see interviews with the Perron family as they talk about the struggles that came from living in the home. Whether or not you find their story true, what they have to say is pretty spooky and definitely worth checking out.

A Life in Demonology – This was definitely my favorite piece of the extras. It’s essentially a mini biography on Ed and Lorraine Warren and how they got started with investigating haunted houses. We also get a peek inside their occult museum which was pretty crazy seeing all of the stuff they’ve collected throughout their years of ghost hunting. The real Anabelle doll is even creepier in real life!

Scaring the @#$% Out of You – I could sit and listen to director James Wan talk about horror films all day long. This section of the special features takes us behind-the-scenes of the film and shows us just how Wan pulls off his scares. It’s always great to hear from the talented mind that brings a film like this to life, so this was pretty interesting. Just too short!

3/5

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24 thoughts on “Blu-ray Review: The Conjuring

  1. You finally saw it!! 🙂 Glad you liked it. I thought you would; and don’t forget that opening sequence. My stomach was in knots. One of the creepiest things I’ve seen in horror.

  2. I encourage people to read Andrea Perron’s books. I’ve blogged about them a lot. It is so interesting that the family is obviously behind the film. However, the books do not at all paint a nice picture of the Warrens… and you find out just how loosely the story was based, at least according to Andrea. I read the books after my advanced screening in July. I was only confused after that.

    I looooooooooived the movie though! Thanks for the review!

    1. Yea, the “real” story is much different. I didn’t read Andrea’s books but I did a fair amount of research and spoke with her a bit about their story and she was very pleased that Wan was the one bringing it to the big screen. Rarely is there a film that doesn’t bend the truth to tell a more exciting story so I’m not at all surprised to see that there are major differences between the “real” story and film.

  3. The movie is total fiction we are a group who has researched and found that no recorded hangings suicides or murder ever happened on real farm. Bathsheba Sherman was not an Arnold never lived at farm no record of a death connected to her especially no record of her accused of being a witch Satanic not a term used in 1800 s she was a practicing Baptist buried by a Baptist minister. Names claimed to be connected to house can prove did not live there Prudence was murdered in Uxbridge Mass. Lorraine Warren claims to Perrons murder happened In pantry. Shows Warrens not credible and should do research about the stories in their movies proved hoax Devil in Conn sues claims 11 yr old possessed destroys his life he sues as an adult law suits in other cases like Amityville. Warrens claim to Perron family with 5 young children they have demon Others have a name for that. I really hope people scrutinize both movie and book. No one except Perrons claim haunting s. video film at farm was shown as joking about sounds that happened 23 to 25 years ago never considered paranormal supernatural etc. Kenyon’s mentioned in book angered about ghost stories degrading their family ancestors home in their family for 200 years.

  4. Reblogged this on HORROR BOOM and commented:
    Check out this excellent review of The Conjuring (including the features on the Blu-ray) which Horror Boom agrees with 100%. I actually lost track of the number of times I screamed aloud in panic. A handful of grown men in the theater got pretty vocal too, including one guy to the left opposite row from where we sat, who actually did a spit take when he made the mistake of sipping his beverage right before the wardrobe scene. At one point–I distinctly recall it was during the scene that took place in TOTAL DAYLIGHT where the Warrens played back their recording of the interview with Andrea and heard …well, what they heard instead of her voice–I squeezed the other half of Horror Boom’s (my husband) hand so tight he winced and decided to just put his hand on my arm instead. This is why I kept running into a brick wall a couple sentences in when I sat down to write a review of The Conjuring after seeing it in a packed theater–the scares and mood were so visceral I still can’t write a traditionally-structured review*. At this point, anyway, I’ve resigned myself to having to say the hell with it and just end up having to relate my various reactions instead.

    As for the Blu-ray features, Ryan’s got them covered. The Conjuring Blu-ray is going on our Christmas list just for the “Scaring the @#$% Out of You” feature alone. Be sure to give this a read! Not to mention, no spoilers. If you haven’t seen it yet but have been meaning to …what are you waiting for?

    *I’ve had the same thing happen with several other horror movies– the French horror film Inside comes to mind as an example. Don’t get me started…

    1. Would be helpful if you also mentioned my comment just prior to yours that Conjuring has been proven none factual. I am the current owner and have proven no murders no hangings no suicides ever happened on our farm. I am waiting for media to go forward with our story instead of encouraging people to continue to trespass and thrill seekers to harrass us for a movie and story easily refuted. Warner Bros New Line Cinema more interested in profit then to bother doing their own research to claim a story is based on fact and say the name of our town in the movie. Without ever consulting us to the consequences we now face forever like Amityville. I am retired and had wished for a quiet time to spend at our home but now we had to place numbers of signs and ropes chains and devices to try to protect us forvsomething we had nothing to do with.

    2. This video was produced after our presentation at the Historical Society in Burrillville Presenting our research about my home disproving many claims of the Conjuring movie and the Perron story. You may share with your viewers Thank you Norma Sutcliffe

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