This 2013 horror film has had a great influence on me as a fan of horror. I didn't catch this film in the theaters but in anticipation of the sequel I watched it again right before. This movie is scary. It has one thing that always scares me and that is freaky looking ladies with messed up faces saying all sorts of creepy stuff.
The story revolves around the real paranormal investigators Ed and Lorrain Warren. The haunting occurs at the house of the Perrons, a family struggling to get by who thinks they got a deal but found something much worse. The movie is directed by the new horror master James Wan, director of the first two terrifying Insidious films, Saw, Death Sentence, Furious 7, and is signed on to Aquaman. I'm a big fan of his work.
Ed Warren is played by Patrick Wilson. He's pretty decent as a learning demonologist who attempts his first exorcism. I don't think it's his best performance but I really liked him in Watchmen and Insidious. Vera Farmiga of Bates Motel plays Lorraine, a medium who can sense dark presences. Lorraine finds herself in the most danger throughout coming face to face with creepy undead ladies.
The ghost story is probably not real but it definitely makes it pretty spooky that they claim to base it on a real story. The Conjuring inspires the spinoff of Annabelle, which I think is also getting a sequel. This horror series can be considered a huge success even if the direct sequel doesn't make a ton of money. Certain scenes scared the hell out of me like the clapping blindfold hide-and-seek game and when that angry witch appears on top of the dresser. Ron Livingston plays the father of this troubled family and Lili Taylor plays the mother who is the object of this haunting.
The movie also has several spooky scenes with a music box that threaten to be really terrifying but play on that tension and the audience expectations more so than jump scares. There are plenty of jump scares as well, like the maid with the slit open wrists. It's a freaky movie. The idea of a paranormal investigator or two going on several different mission inspired me to write a series of novels about a similar situation though a bit more fantastical. I look forward to catching the sequel tomorrow night!