Ed and Lorraine Warren are world renowned paranormal researches, who investigate various entities which they believe to be from the spiritual world. When performing a seminar at the local college, the couple is confronted by Carolyn Perron, a mother of five, whose family is being terrified by a dark presence. James Wan's The Conjuring is a well executed horror film that goes about its scares in a much more genuine way, reminiscent of horror films from the seventies and eighties. While so many films these days rely on either gore or jump scares, The Conjuring recognizes that atmosphere is key in creating a lasting impression on its audience. The Conjuring storyline is nothing new or unique, but James Wan does a fantastic job at telling this story and letting it unravel much more organically than most films with similar subject matters. The film does a great job at givings its character's depth, a common problem with the genre, while also showing a surprising amount of tenderness for the various character's plights. The audience is able to grow attached to these characters because of this, making the film much more effective, especially during its intense finale. We spend nearly equal time with both the Perron family and the Warrens, which seems to just raise the stakes even more for everyone involved while also making no character feel expendable. This could be Wan's best directed film to-date, with some fantastic imagery throughout the running time, using various lenses that really elevated the suspense while evoking mood and tension. The combination of the emotional resonance the film was able to achieve with great cinematography make The Conjuring one of the best mainstream horror films in years.
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