You know how it goes: a new horror movie emerges onto the scene. We get excited, and then are let down by any number of things. Too many special effects. Terrible storyline, etc. etc… Then comes along "The Conjuring", director James Wan's cinematic interpretation of events taking place more than four decades ago. 2011's "Insidious" marked an abrupt switch from the bloodfest of his infamous "Saw" series to more supernatural territory. "The Conjuring" is the first horror film I've seen in years that's given me nightmares. And in spite of a few minor flaws, this movie has given me hope that the horror genre is alive and well. As I watched the Perron family's terror unfold on screen, I entertained these eight not so random thoughts. Perhaps you feel the same.
(Definite SPOILERS ahead...)
The Demon-on-the-Wardrobe scene is THE scariest of the film.
Watching Cindy (Mackenzie Foy) sleepwalk, unconsciously banging her head on the wardrobe is disturbing enough. But when the spirit of a demonic girl perched atop it, leaps onto Cindy's sister, I nearly lost it.
Lorraine Warren makes a cameo appearance.
Harvey Stephens (1976's original Damien) made a cameo in the 2006 remake of "The Omen." Stephen King did it in "Pet Sematary." But for some reason, seeing real paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren sitting in the front room at Ed's (Patrick Wilson) seminar just cemented the movie's true-story angle.
People never listen to their pets.
What was the first clue that something was wrong with that Rhode Island house? The family's dog wouldn't go inside. Evidently, this made no difference; the poor pooch stayed outdoors and still caught the short end of the stick pretty early on in the movie.
Random Observation: Joey King and Rachel Weisz are twins.
Actress Joey King (who plays Christine Perron) really does look like a young version of Rachel Weisz. The uncanny comparison was made during "Oz the Great and Powerful", in which they both star.
Music boxes are scary.
When I was a child, I was gifted a Jack-in-the-Box toy. I was always afraid of it. I feel similarly about music boxes. Sure, they're cute and whimsical. But after seeing this movie, I am convinced that they are all evil. Period.
Dolls + Horror films = Very Bad Things
Speaking of toys…clearly, Annabelle is one of the creepiest dolls in horror movie history. But herein lies the problem. The actual doll in question was a pretty innocent-looking Raggedy Ann. Although "The Conjuring's" Annabelle was terrifying, I have the feeling that Raggedy Ann would have frightened me more.
Why do all supernatural films seem to end with an exorcism?
This movie, like dozens of others, includes the super-dramatic depiction of an exorcism. For some reason, it seem as if obtaining an exorcism is easier than getting Botox. I suppose they are indeed a necessary evil (bad pun intended) in paranormal fare. But their overuse is often like a wet blanket.
Beware of…the sequel.
"There's a case on Long Island he'd like to discuss." Uh-oh. After hearing this line at the end of the film, I realized immediately that a sequel is forthcoming; the Warrens are heading to Amityville. Does this mean we're about to see a string of movies that follow Ed and Lorraine's trek across haunted America? Perhaps. But if these films are anything like "The Conjuring", this might not be a bad thing.