Real life paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated thousands of cases, including that fun excursion in Amityville, but what they found in Harrisville was so disturbing they kept the details a secret. Until now…
In 1971, the Perron family–Carolyn, Roger and their five daughters–moved to a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. What they experienced was way more than just a run-of-mill dark presence.
James Wan the director of Insidious brings his "A" game to retelling the Perron's horrific tale, and at exploring the Warren's creepy career choice. The focus on both families expands the story beyond just a single spooky homestead. (Left with a room full of artifacts from previous cases, little Judy Warren has her tiny hands full while mom and dad are away.)
Wan cast Insidious star Patrick Wilson to play Ed Warren, a demonologist who's assisted in at least one exorcism. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) is his clairvoyant spouse, Lorraine. Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor play the other husband and wife duo, Roger and Carolyn Perron. The whole cast is strong with Farmiga and Taylor the standouts.
The Conjuring is a full-on scarefest best enjoyed in a packed theater where screaming, jumping from your seat and arm-grabbing is encouraged.
Six ways this horror flick will make you lose it:
1. Never Ever Release Annabelle Out of Her Glass Case. The film opens with an extreme close-up of that face. Demons use objects like this decrepit Dutch girl as conduits while they home in on an unsuspecting person to possess. But do not destroy the doll. Sometimes, it's better to keep the genie in the bottle.
2. Let's Play the Clap Game. On Second Thought, Better Not. As seen in the trailer, a simple kid's game gets spooky fast. A clever (and sinister) way to have characters literally blind to what's right in front of them.
3. Screaming Won't Help. Even more concerning, "they" aren't afraid of letting their presence be known by two or more of the living at one time, effectively breaking the old scary movie trope of waiting until one of them is alone. Doesn't matter if Christine (Joey King) sleeps in the same room with her sister Nancy (Hayley McFarland). No one is safe.
4. The Warrens Are on the Case. Ed is sorta like season 10 Scully: He's seen enough to stop being skeptical and smart enough to employ every scientific method available. Lorraine makes us believe with one horrified look in a mirror. They are the anchors that ground the Perron family…and us.
5. Do You Wanna See Something Really Scary? The stench of rotting meat, whispers in the dark and that handclap. All disturbing. All unseen. For now…
6. The Verdict: The Scariest Film in Years. Calling any film "scariest" or "funniest" is just our opinion. Maybe we were just in the mood to be royally freaked out. Either way, director Wan who previously made Rose Byrne white as a ghost in Insidious has upped his game considerably. He and his collaborators (cinematographer John R. Leonetti, production designer Julie Berghoff) keep audiences wrapped up tight like the possessed hanging upside down: confused and in eminent danger. Roving cameras and a setting that feels authentic haunts long after the credits have rolled.
Will you keep your eyes glued to the screen? Or does this all sound too silly? Does this put your mind at ease for James Wan to direct the next Fast & Furious? Sound off in the comments!
PHOTOS: Summer Movie Guide, horror and suspense