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The Conjuring


Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by James Wan 
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor  
An image from The Conjuring

Director James Wan, known for directing films such as the Saw franchise, and Insidious, now has parted from the gore and torture flicks and opted for the more traditional horror traits such as the usual paranormal activity that made Insidious a hit. The storyline for The Conjuring, also known as The Warren Files, is as follows; a straightforward supernatural horror flick where paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help the Perron family who are terrorized by a dark presence and disturbing events in their Rhode Island farmhouse.

The trailer certainly provides us with the usual eye-rolling expectations that will make an audience laugh rather than feel genuine fear, the accursed ‘we’ve seen it all’ montage with the cheap gags and fake jump scares that are now a given in most horror films. The material that The Conjuring is based on may not feel particularly original, as it recreates the horror classics: creepy toys, young possessed girls, creaky floorboards, stopped clocks, dusty cellars, and the “true story” disclaimer. However, there is certainly promise of a more refined and cinematic experience for The Conjuring. Rather than create something fresh and new, which is almost an impossible feat in the horror genre, Wan has opted for bringing back the old-school, Poltergeist-themed horror into 2013.

The focus of the film on the conjuring itself welcomes the more personal horrific aspects whilst, as Wan explained that he set out to make a ‘classic studio horror film’, chooses minimal use of digital effects. The film also focuses more on strong, sympathetic performances enveloped in sheer cinematic beauty that can be developed now in modern times, therefore rejecting the CGI fest many films fall into the trap of becoming and at the same time welcoming the ability to create a visually frightening treat.

Yasmin Mahdy

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Autumn Term (digital)