Friday, 2 August 2013


Not many people know that during my free time, I would go ghost hunting. I am not a full fledged ghost hunter but the world of the paranormal fascinates me to a certain extent. Therefore, a film about the paranormal or specifically the horror genre, always intrigues me.

The film is called The Conjuring. It is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious), a Malaysian-Australian who is plying his trade in the world of film-making. Over the past years, Wan has distinguished himself as a director 'specializing' in the horror genre. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor. The film is written by brothers Chad and Carey Hayes,

Clockwise from left: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, and Ron Livingston

This film documents a case from a group of famous ghost hunters who happens to be husband and wife. Their names are Ed and Lorraine Warren. Before I continue with my review, check out the video below. A famous case investigated by them but not related to the film. You might have seen it on YouTube:-

This investigation took place in the United States and deals with poltergeist, entities that have the ability to move objects. The Conjuring is based on a true story which the Warrens have kept secret for a long time. Lorraine Warren served as a consultant on the film. Unfortunately, Ed Warren has passed on many years ago. Now on with the review.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren respectively

A family moves into a new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island. They seem like a normal family, both parents and five lovely daughters, until strange paranormal occurrences begin to disturb the family. Having had enough torment, the mother of the family approaches demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren who agrees to take the case. As the Warrens begin the investigate, they began to discover supernatural forces that is beyond their control.

The Perron family who is tormented by unseen forces.

Simple, straight-forward, and effective. Very well structured and very minimal (maybe none) plot-holes. Characterization of each role is ironed out and there's just enough backstory for the audience to connect with the actors. The dialogue was alright but what is more interesting, the script became somewhat of an educational tool for those unfamiliar with the world of paranormal research and ghost hunting. This gives the opportunity for horror fans to learn the basics of ghost hunting methods.

Excellent performance from the four main cast, in particular Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren and Lili Taylor as the distraught mother of the family. Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren was an equal opposite of Farmiga's role. The child actors in the film were pretty good too.

Farmiga (Lorraine) and Wilson (Ed) conducting an investigation

This is by far James Wan's best work to-date. He pays tribute to old style horror film-making of yesteryears. It seems fitting too as the film is set in the early 1970s. I applaud the use of minimal visual effects and concentrating on practical effects. The shots were beautifully crafted and evoked feelings of being transported to that era. The editing was just nice and the make-up effects was superb. Kudos to James Wan.

Director James Wan on set with Vera Farmiga.

In my opinion, it is almost perfect. It gets engaging in the first 10 minutes and slowly escalates to a great finale. It does not feel boring because at every turn of a scene, there is something new. The scare moments is well build and greatly distributed throughout the film.

Ghost and demons which will definitely scare you. Problem-solving mystery that gets the audience reacting to the story. I found myself telling one of the characters "Why do you have to do that?" out loud.

Does this music box hold the key to everything? Watch the film and find out.
Not suitable for kids. Those with a weak heart or pregnant women should not watch this film.

If you are a fan of horror films, this is one of the best. The scare moments could make you gripping to your seat and feel uneasy but that is what horror films are all about.

In my opinion, this is one of the best films I have seen in the horror genre. Not only it is a good horror film, it also has a strong script which translates to a well-crafted piece of filmmaking. For those unfamiliar with the world of ghost hunting and paranormal research, you might learn a thing or two. The strength of this film is the simple storyline that doesn't require audience to figure out the plot too much and its suspense scene after scene until the end. Highly recommended.

9 out of 10


  1. Excellent review Feris....And to make the story engaging without giving away any spoilers is the gem in your review ! Will definitely be watching this now.