Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Conjuring

Today I saw The Conjuring, starring Lili Taylor and Vera Farmiga.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) are a real-life married couple, famous for their paranormal investigations. Ed passed in 2006, but Lorraine is still going strong at 86 at corroborates the true story, which this film tells.

In the early 70s, the Perron family moved to a remote farmhouse in the Rhode Island countryside in hopes of beginning an idyllic life. Instead, their beds began levitating and a rancid smell filled their rooms at the same time each morning.

Not affiliated with any church, and fearing for the safety of their five young daughters, they sought the help of the Warrens who lived nearby in Connecticut. Lorraine, who is clairvoyant, immediately detected the presence of spirits during her first visit and after studying historical records of the property, identified them. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say they weren't the nicest entities to have around.

Carolyn (Taylor), who was the mother of the family, seemed to be the target of the spirit's angst, and briefly became possessed, causing all kinds of chaos. Taylor is perfect for this role, because she evokes such a nurturing "mom" presence anyway. Here she gets to show that off and go buck wild crazy under the spell of this demon. I enjoyed her performance most of all.

Farmiga plays the legendary Warren very understated, which is true to the real woman's behavior. Wilson is also convincingly "ordinary" as Ed, demonstrating both deep love for his wife and a sincere quest to rid this poor family of the energies that torment them.

As a standard horror film, the story here works on many levels: the narrative is packed with enough logic to pull you in and the surprises are jumpy enough to bolt you out of your seat.

This is a good one folks; and not just for paranormal geeks like me.


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