REVIEW: The Conjuring

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The Conjuring
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes (screenplay)
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston

The Conjuring is a legitimately frightening movie without taking the gory (i.e. easy) way out.  It is at once an ode to ’70s horror like The Exorcist or Suspiria and a clever subversion of the modern “found footage” sub-genre.  The movie is so well-edited and pieced together that other people in the theater I was in shrieked and squirmed in an almost equally convincing manner as the characters.

There are two main families at play here, though the Perrons do a bulk of the screaming.  They are a beacon of working class stability, and director James Wan makes it quite clear from the beginning how temporary that is for them as they take up residence in a secluded old house.  He stalks the parents and their five daughters through the moving-in process, giving us a sense of their familial rituals while also hinting at how the script (by Chad and Carey Hayes) will later use that against them.  ,

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