Hello Icons readers! I come baring incredible news, so stick with me on this one!
As horror fans and horror movie goers we share one common goal, to be scared. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to just watch a good ol’ gore fes,t filled with the red stuff and cries of pain, but after a while it just gets stale doesn’t it? James Wan kicked off his career with the highly successful SAW back in 2004 and it spawned numerous sequels, filled to the brim with said red stuff and just like you I enjoyed those films. However, James was not at the helm of those sequels, because he had other ventures in mind for his directorial path. Films like DEATH SENTENCE, DEAD SILENCE and INSIDIOUS were all great works from Wan, but after all of these violent tales of ghosts, death and revenge….what could he do next? The answer to that question can be summed up in two words, THE CONJURING.
Wan’s latest effort is not only his best film to date but is in fact, his most terrifying. How many times have you heard “based on a true story” or “the most terrifying film you will ever experience” (cough cough EVIL DEAD remake) and actually find that the statements hold up? Not so often. With this movie I had heard nothing but positive feedback for the last few months and witnessed the film get a push up to summer for a bigger release because it tested so well. As a horror fan though I had to keep my gut in check until I SAW it for myself(couldn’t resist the pun). When the lights of the theater dimmed and the screen lit up, I was glued from start to finish. This film has it all..the direction, the performances, the score, the tone, everything is on full blast here, just waiting to be seen. These are all things that any horror movie or any movie for that matter can get wrong and cause the entire film to fall because of said weak link, but alas, THE CONJURING has none. Every frame of this incredibly well conceived scare fest is beautiful and haunting and most importantly, memorable.
Let’s go back to the score for a moment. Joseph Bishara, who scored Wan’s previous film INSIDIOUS, along with its upcoming sequel INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, has truly brought his A game as a composer. Most horror films rely on stingers and dark keys that sound like they have been recycled throughout tim,e in order to achieve the scary tones and feel of the movie but Bishara has crafted an incredibly jolting score that will crawl under your skin and tear through it until the credits roll. There are literally moments where I found myself clenching my arm rests because of simple frame work, like a wide shot in which a child in the film is at the top of a staircase and nothing was even happening in the moment. It was just absolutely scary looking and had me on the edge waiting for impending doom because the sound that surrounded the scene.
We all want to be able to say that a movie lives up to the hype, but more often than not, that just doesn’t happen. THE CONJURING is not your average ghost story movie. You care about the characters, you’re genuinely frightened by what you witness and you leave the theater in a state of amazement. That’s how I felt anyway. When films like THE OMEN, THE SHINING and THE EXORCIST are no longer what we can expect in the mainstream horror genre because of people being desensitized by torture porn like HOSTEL, THE CONJURING breathes a breath of fresh air and delivers in spades.
I’ll just say this with full honesty. THE CONJURING is the scariest film since THE EXORCIST and one of the scariest films ever made. It is a horror masterpiece. Go see it for yourself and don’t bring a girl who has sharp nails because she will grab onto you for dear life, guaranteed.