Paranormal Investigation has been around for a very long time. Ghost stories told that span centuries. As a boy, I was absolutely certain that the house I grew up in was haunted. Things were seen, not only by me, but with witnesses – and even now as a grown up, I can see those events in my life with crystal clarity. Bad things had happened in that house. My mother felt it, Dad thought it was funny. There were also a lot of articles and tv shows talking about paranormal things. The popularity of EXORCIST and AMITYVILLE HORROR – all while Stephen King was publishing THE SHINING, and Kubrick made a film. But through the publicity of things that were being sold to us… there were the stories about Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Vatican backed them.
What James Wan has done with THE CONJURING is to make a film about the Warrens that should launch a franchise. This first film focuses upon a Warren investigation that has never been brought to light, until now. THIS FILM IS REALLY FUCKING SCARY!
Why is the film so damn scary? First, because James Wan invests screen time to get to know everyone involved in the story, before everything goes to Hell. You see the Perron family has sunk everything they have into this home for their large young family.
The secret to getting scared is to just let the story be told to you. Don’t skip ahead, invest yourself in the present, in what these characters are experiencing and if you’re not scared. I don’t know what to say. With Lily Taylor playing the mother alongside her Truck Driving Husband Roger played by Ron Livingston – you have actors that absolutely are present. When Lili’s Carolyn is playing the “Clapping Game” with her youngests… well, if that doesn’t creep you the hell out – then you can definitely write off GHOST ADVENTURES as a show.
Now I admit, I read a bunch before seeing horror films. I looked into what I could find out about the Perron case – if you look into it, it is rather terrifying stuff – mainly because of the implications – and if you believe MADNESS or overactive imagination and nothing goes bump in the dark. Well, stick to slashers and zombies and the big scares. But for me… Spirits, Demons, Possession… if this is your problem, if you allow yourself to imagine the utter helplessness that we mere mortals have if faced with something supernatural bent on really disturbing your life… and just because some really twisted folks lived there a long long long time ago… YIKES.
In the film, once the investigation shares the actual history of the property – it’s so much worse than just an old Indian Burial Ground. I mean. The actual case. And the amount of affected property – that has been subdivided and sold with a really terrible curse! Man, there should be laws. I wonder if people ever hire Paranormal Investigators before buying an old property.
Ed and Lorraine Warren are being played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga – and they’re perfect. I would love to see them do more of these films. I love that they have a room in their house filled with all the evil artifacts that they’ve investigated. CREEPIEST ROOM EVER. It is so they can make sure that the items never fall into the wrong hands. But as a collector of all sorts of things, I assure you, I will never collect cursed objects, it’s just a really really bad idea. I mean… the opening case that they investigate with the Evil Doll… Man, no way. After the story about the doll, if ever there was a possessed evil doll, this doll is it. It just looks like it wants to swallow your soul. I don’t know if you had a scary doll that freaked you out as a kid, but my parents had a glass eyed Howdy Doody doll that tormented my mind. This doll, fuck this doll.
Then there’s the fact that Ed and Lorraine have a daughter that they leave to go investigate evil… and the old lady taking care of her… well, there’s an entire room of frigging evil – and you just know that no good is gonna come of this.
Now, I showed this film to my 13 year old Horror loving nephew – and afterwards he was being cool – saying “I only got really scared about twenty two times!” Think about that, when was the last time a horror film got ya that many times? Once Lili is scary, forget about it. She’s nightmares. When she’s covered in that sheet… YIKES! Of the kids, the best performer out of the group has to be Mackenzie Foy, her Cindy is just – very good in the film. But the whole family acts accordingly.
Bring your horror movie clutch friend along. There’s a ton of jumps, twists and revelations that it is just wonderful to witness with someone that reacts well to great little horror films.
Support Horror with this film, it does it just right! Monday I’ll post my post film interview with Lili Taylor – we talk about some spoilers that I’d rather just wait for more of you to see the film before releasing.
Just know that if you love Paranormal Investigation Movies, not the first person stuff, but films like THE ORPHANAGE or THE HAUNTING… this is more that kind of thing. And it is very very scary. I think I’ve said that. Well, I was certainly scared.