Horror of Horrors : The Conjuring
Welcome back my haunted readers and floorboard creekers. Have you all missed me? Of course you have, it’s only been a day since my last article. That is way too much time away from our budding sensual and sensible relationship. I must start off today with a confession….the state of horror movies has been rather bleak for the theater industry. Most of the good ones are going direct to DVD, which leaves our theaters unfortunately strapped for horrifying material to assault our senses on the big screen. It’s a shame, but movies like the Last Exorcism 2 ( whose title makes no fucking sense considering you can’t have 2 “lasts”…. unless you are Square Enix, in which case you can have just about 15-20 “lasts” or “finals”) are essentially ruining the market for us. I saw about 30 minutes of that movie, and I seriously debated on whether or not being possessed or followed by a goddamn savage dick demon would be a bad thing. Trust me, while watching that pile, it wouldn’t be. It just seems that they release the biggest piles of garbage into theaters, and then get pissed at us when nobody goes to see it. I don’t want to sit in a chair for 2 hours and feel like nothing has happened. I already have a desk job, thank you very much. So needless to say, when I saw previews of The Conjuring, featuring the lovely Norma Bates from Bates Motel ,the guy who looks like Johns from Pitch Black and Ron Livingston (YES) I was rather intrigued. Even better, it was a haunted house story, which is like telling me there is a glazed donut filled with bacon and super powers. I’m all over it. So how does it stack up? Let’s find out shall we?
Before I start into a proper review, I am going to have to call out a huge thank you to the film makers for not doing the standard horror movie thing, which is to wait until the end for creepy shit to happen. They start off super fucking strong and begin massacring your senses within the first five minutes. Thank you thank you thank you. If there is anything I hate in a horror movie, it’s the long build. It’s almost always unsatisfying to me, and I tend to get rather impatient. The Conjuring does not play you for a child, and goes directly to the scares. We learn that our main family, consisting of Ron Livingston and the girl who I am almost positive was in the Haunting (she’s good at haunted house movies I guess,) moving into a house with their kids. Obviously, as most horror movies like to remind us, the house isn’t what it seems to be….it’s a Waffle House!! Just kidding, it’s actually Satan’s asshole, and he’s going to be wiping your face all up in it. That’s right….all of his reddened glory right up in your business. The clocks are stopped at 3:07 am….all of them….which any sane person would deem as odd enough to get the fuck out of there. But this family is strong, and they chalk it up to coincidence. As Jack Slater would put it….Big Mistake. It doesn’t take long for the shit to add up to a level proper enough for them to call in some help, which turns out to be a psychic Norma Bates and her husband who actually has the short end of the stick as he is not psychic, but goes in their fists and bible swinging, much to his own credit. Queue the room I wish to have in my life…
We learn that the paranormal investigators are really not the sort of people to be trifled with, as they have participated in house cleansings, exorcisms, and pretty much anything else that you can think of that would terrify a normal person. The best part…they keep a room to house all of the possessed items and trinkets that demons and ghosts love so much. My question is….why is that not my bedroom? They are sorely misusing all of those items by simply not using them. They essentially have a stockpile of ghost and demon dolls and items, yet they do not use them at all. Call me the weaker man, but I don’t think I would be able to sit around and not use that stuff in some fashion. I don’t hold grudges…mind you….but I never forget. Moving on. The investigators arrive to help out the family, and proceed to get all up in the demon business of the house. Another thing I would like to point out, is that they did not go with the skeptical dad the whole time, and within the first 30 minutes, he was a believer. I cannot tell you how much I hate when they use that archetype. I fucking hate it. They have something obviously fucked up happening in their midst, and they proceed to not think about it or dismiss it as bullshit. No sir…you are the bullshit, but thankfully they did not go that route. However, there is a guy who plays the skeptic, and ironically he is my favorite character in this film, mainly because he threatens to shoot a ghost in the fucking face. Oh god yes. The balls on that man must be enormous. I have never, and do not intend to ever threaten a ghost with a blast from a glock. Only one man has ever been known to survive that before this, and that is Arnold Fucking Schwarzeneggar in End of Days. Obviously though, after all of the shit continues to happen, he is not so skeptical anymore. Especially after he almost gets raped and fucked up by a maid ghost. So much yes to that last sentence.
The movie continues to scare you and make you feel so uneasy that praise needs to also be given to the sound guys and the camera guys. Little dark patches here and there, a creaking floorboard, a crash through a wall and the dragging of bodies and feet make for a good scary movie. You eventually find out why the house is so fucked up, and trust me, the reason is just as fucked up. Ironically, it follows somewhat of the old tried and true explanations, but makes them slightly more horrifying. Possession in its own right is something that most people would find to be intrusive….not me so much though. I would welcome the escape and the stories I would be able to tell for the rest of my life (possessed or non possessed). I feel like most of these happenings get a bad wrap, and understandably so. It’s not usually fun to have something dead wear your skin for a while. But much like I stated in one of previous horrors entries, I would at least like to see how that side lives or unlives, depending on the situation. I am kind of open minded towards it, although I am sure my girlfriend would have a problem with it. The family however, does not share my feelings, and we are treated to a nice exorcism scene, which in all honesty creeped the fuck out of me. There is something to be said about the simple act of throwing a sheet over someone’s face, can make them so scary and so off-putting, especially if there is blood and shit coming out of that person’s mouth and face to soak the sheet in a red hue of despair. It’s so brutal that I loved it, and it provided a nice perspective and very well done scene in which things boil to a head and reaches towards the climax of the film.
If there is really anything bad I could say about this movie, is that some plot threads are left slightly hanging loose, and are not fully explained. There is a scene in which the female investigator is shown being involved in an exorcism, and something awful happens, but they don’t fully explain it. I understand that whatever was possessing the person got into her head and most likely showed her some fucked up stuff, but they didn’t get into it as much I would have liked. I am a huge fan of back story, and was left slightly wanting in that department. Another thing was the ending, which I thought was rather abrupt. I honestly think the movie could have used an extra five minutes to explain a bit better, but it does it in a fashion that leaves you wondering in a good way. Not in a way that makes you upset or anything like that, more like I really want to delve back into that universe now and find out more about this thing or that thing. Shit if they made a movie just about the shit in the room of nightmares (I have named it that, because that is what it is) I would like the fuck right up. All in all, I think you should all go and check this movie out as soon as you can. Preferably in theaters as for some reason, home video is skimping on the funding for louder dialogue. Trust me, I have your best intentions at heart here, and I think you all deserve a good horror movie to help you not sleep at night. Now if you’ll excuse me, there are a few things I need to check out of the nightmare room. Mainly that sweet set of haunted samurai armor. Till next time creeps!!
—Follow me on Twitter! @ArthurHarkness
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners. Please click on the “About Us” tab for our takedown policy.