The Conjuring - Instructions: Take a pinch of 'Amityville', a cup full of 'The Exorcist', a sprinkling of 'Paranormal Activity' and some small pieces of 'The Orphanage'. Add in a some Hitchcock and claim that it is all 'Based on real events'. Give the whole thing to 'Insidious' director, James Wan to see what he makes with it. The result is a well made, slow-burner of a movie that has some good acting and a couple of good scares that manage to deliver moments of spine tingles. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play Ed and Lorraine Warren, a ghost-hunting couple called in to help the parents of five children who have a problem with things going bump in the night. The Warrens' were also the investigators in the classic 'Amityville' case that spawned sequels and remakes. There are many good performances, most notably Lili Taylor as the haunted mother and a couple of the younger actors also stand out. Having seen many-a horror film, some of the set pieces lost a little impact with me as they were fairly standard and there are parts of the film that feel a little disjointed but I still enjoyed the ride. I have no idea why they chose the title though, as it has little or no relevance to the events and there was some overly religious babble that annoyed me in parts. It isn't the bone-chiller that it has been hyped as but there are enough well handled, creepy moments in the film to please fans of the genre. If you have never seen a ghostly horror film before, then this one might very well scare the pants off you and put you off dolls and 'Hide & Seek' for a while. If you have however, I think you may well spend more time wondering which historical horror film influenced each scene. A good effort but it draws together so many things that have been done before and it therefore feels a little derivative. Worth a watch.
6.5 out of 10
Cert 15 (UK)