Conjuring
  • Conjuring
  • Conjuring

Conjuring

4.5 4
Director: James Wan

Cast: James Wan, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston

     
 

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A demonic entity lays claim to family living in a secluded farmhouse, prompting them to seek the aid of two renowned paranormal researchers in this tale of possession inspired by actual events. The story gets underway as paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) evaluate a mysterious doll discovered by a trio of young roommates in… See more details below

Overview

A demonic entity lays claim to family living in a secluded farmhouse, prompting them to seek the aid of two renowned paranormal researchers in this tale of possession inspired by actual events. The story gets underway as paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) evaluate a mysterious doll discovered by a trio of young roommates in 1968. Believing their house to be haunted by the wayward spirit of a deceased young girl, they give the girl permission to inhabit the doll, and soon their lives become a waking nightmare. Informed by Ed and Lorraine that they have fallen victim to an inhuman spirit (aka a demon) seeking a human host, the roommates entrust the doll to the Warrens, who place it in their personal museum for safekeeping. Flash forward three years to Harrisville, RI, where the Perron family have just moved into their country dream home -- an 18th century farmhouse that offers plenty of space for parents Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston), as well as their five daughters Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy), and April (Kyla Deaver). It seems like the ideal place to raise a family until a series of unsettling events leave the Perron family convinced they are not alone. Terrified, Carolyn reaches out to the Warrens for help, and learns that a demonic entity has attached itself to her family, and has no intentions of letting them go. Meanwhile, the deeper the Warrens delve into the farmhouse's history, the clearer it becomes that this spirit has a murderous agenda, and that no one will be safe until it is driven back into darkness.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A rare beast of a horror film that earns its "R" rating not for excessive gore or profanity but instead for sheer intensity (or, in MPAA-speak, "sequences of disturbing violence and terror"), The Conjuring finds director James Wan improving on his previous haunted-house yarn Insidious in just about every way possible. Masterfully told and featuring memorable performances by its two female leads in particular, The Conjuring captures us in its malevolent web with the unsettling opening shot, and leaves us dangling helplessly in an infernal house of horrors. While in the past Wan seemed prone to excess (Saw and Death Sentence in particular showed a notable flair for brutality), here he opts for a more classical approach that never feels compromised, despite the lack of bloodletting. In the process, he's turned out a hair-raising haunted-house classic. The story gets underway as paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) evaluate a mysterious doll discovered by a trio of young roommates in 1968. Believing their house to be haunted by the wayward spirit of a deceased young girl, they give the girl permission to inhabit the doll, and soon their lives become a waking nightmare. Informed by Ed and Lorraine that they have fallen victim to an inhuman spirit (aka a demon) seeking a human host, the roommates entrust the doll to the Warrens, who place it in their personal museum for safekeeping. Flash forward three years to Harrisville, RI, where the Perron family have just moved into their country dream home -- an 18th century farmhouse that offers plenty of space for parents Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston), as well as their five daughters Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy), and April (Kyla Deaver). It seems like the ideal place to raise a family until a series of unsettling events leave the Perron family convinced they are not alone. Terrified, Carolyn reaches out to the Warrens for help, and learns that a demonic entity has attached itself to her family, and has no intentions of letting them go. Meanwhile, the deeper the Warrens delve into the farmhouse's history, the clearer it becomes that this spirit has a murderous agenda, and that no one will be safe until it is driven back into darkness. The Conjuring is inspired by the book House of Darkness, House of Light: The True Story by Andrea Perron. In her book, Perron details her family's nightmarish struggle against forces beyond their understanding, and the attempts made by Ed and Lorraine Warren to "cleanse" their home of evil. A few short years later, the Warrens would achieve a certain level of notoriety for their investigation into the Amityville Horror. Although often considered a masterpiece of paranormal literature, Jay Anson's novel detailing that sinister Long Island haunting hasn't fared particularly well when translated to the big screen. Here, Wan seems particularly determined to make up for those shortcomings, relishing in period detail while intentionally dialing back his stylistic excess to focus on crafting a skin-crawling series of expertly timed scares. Largely absent are the jarring jump cues so frequently employed by lazy filmmakers to keep their audience on edge; in their place are a series of seductively fluid, elegantly executed sequences that steadily build to a pulse-quickening fever pitch. In The Conjuring, Wan embraces the concept of "less is more," using small things like a bouncing toy ball or a pair of seemingly disembodied, clapping hands to fray our nerves, and he does so with the skill of a filmmaker at the top of his game. Given the similarities between The Conjuring and Insidious, it seems impossible not to compare the two, though the latter truly feels like amateur hour when held up in comparison to this, an infinitely more mature, and refined example of genre filmmaking. As well as Wan works with screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes to craft a horror yarn worthy of admiration, it's the cast who deserve credit for bringing the story to life. Taylor and Livingston both shine as the parents who watch in terror as their dreams blur into nightmares, and while Wilson's demonologist displays a congenial down-home charm, it's Farmiga -- at once vulnerable, resolute, and wise as Lorraine Warren -- who steals the show. Lorraine is the true heart of The Conjuring, and it's Farmiga's talent in showing the character's ability to see light through all of the darkness that keeps us emotionally invested throughout the Perron's terrifying ordeal. All the while, a satisfying mix of period pop songs and discordant strings courtesy of composers Joseph Bishara and Mark Isham create an eerie sonic landscape that holds the story together. Although it's always difficult to recognize a classic in the moment, The Conjuring establishes an effective air of dread in the very first frame, and impressively maintains it throughout. Whether or not it will withstand the test of time remains to be seen. But until then, we'll all be too busy screaming to care.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/22/2013
UPC:
0794043161759
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
16,480

Special Features

The Conjuring: face-to-face with terror - relive the real-life horror as the Perron family comes together to reflect back on the farmhouse they shared with diaboloical spirits for nearly a decade; A life in demonology - the real demonologist and paranormal experts from The Conjuring take you inside their life's work and into their personal occult cellar, where they keep haunted and unholy relics from their many cases; Scaring the "@$*%: out of you - director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) welcomes you into his world and gives an inside look at the secrets that scare the "@$*%" out of moviegoers time and time again

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vera Farmiga Lorraine Warren
Patrick Wilson Ed Warren
Ron Livingston Roger Perron
Lili Taylor Carolyn Perron
Shanley Caswell Andrea
Hayley McFarland Nancy
Joey King Christine
Mackenzie Foy Cindy
Kyla Deaver April
Shannon Kook Drew
John Brotherton Brad
Sterling Jerins Judy Warren
Marion Guyot Georgiana
Morganna Bridgers Debbie
Amy Tipton Camilla
Kymoura Kennedy Student #1
Sean Flynn Student #2
Ashley White Female Student
Zach Pappas Rick
Arnell Powell Reporter
Joseph Bishara Bathsheba
Rose Bachtel Leah
J. Donovan Nelson David
Christof Veillon Maurice
George T. Zervos Catholic Priest
Carmella Gioio Mrs. Walker
Steve Coulter Father Gordon
Desi Domo Suicide Maid
Dusty Sadie the Dog

Technical Credits
James Wan Director
David Beavis Special Effects Supervisor
Julie Berghoff Production Designer
Joseph Bishara Score Composer
Kristin M. Burke Costumes/Costume Designer
Albert Cho Asst. Director
Rob Cowan Producer
Tony DeRosa-Grund Producer
Joe Dzuban Sound/Sound Designer
Fractured FX Makeup Special Effects
Kellie Gesell Casting
Geoffrey S. Grimsman Art Director
Walter Hamada Executive Producer
Carey Hayes Screenwriter
Chad Hayes Screenwriter
Mark Isham Score Composer
John R. Leonetti Cinematographer
Anne McCarthy Casting
Kirk M. Morri Editor
Dave Neustadter Executive Producer
Justin Raleigh Makeup Special Effects
Carl Rudisill Sound Mixer
Peter Safran Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Conjuring
1. Scene 1
2. Scene 2
3. Scene 3
4. Scene 4
5. Scene 5
6. Scene 6
7. Scene 7
8. Scene 8
9. Scene 9
10. Scene 10
11. Scene 11
12. Scene 12

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