Director James Wan, who has become something of a staple in the horror community, has had a bit of a hit and miss career. He first made it big with the original Saw, which I still think is the only decent film of the franchise, and then gained more praise with 2010’s Insidious, a project that wasn’t particularly bad, but was overall rather silly and stretched out.
Now he returns with his latest effort, The Conjuring, which tells the story of “paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren [who] work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.”
Doesn’t sound particularly different from Insidious does it? But wait, this one’s based on a true story! That means that one or two of the scenes in the film could be based on something similar that might have happened, but more than likely never happened at all. The trailer even goes so far as to use the gimmick of having the supposed real family that these events happened to tell their story, saying that they waited 30 years to tell their story because they felt that the world wasn’t ready back then. However, this gimmick just makes it all the more suspicious.
With that out of the way, the film itself does look like it could be a frightfully good time. While Insidious didn’t work well overall, it still had a few chilling moments that were effective. If the filmmakers behind The Conjuring can reel the story in and make it a little more believable, then there’s a good chance that it could be the next good haunted house movie (the last great one of those we had was 2001’s The Others).
The film, which is due out next month, has already been receiving some pretty good reviews, with critics calling it “taut and effective” and “a sensationally entertaining old-school freakout.” Sounds like it accomplishes what it sets out to do. I’m all for an old-school freakout, so I’ll definitely be giving it a shot.
The Conjuring, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, hits theaters on July 19th.
Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments!