MOVIE REVIEW: THE CONJURING (2013)

Running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Director: James Wan

The Conjuring is based on actual events. In 1971, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called to the Perron family’s farmhouse to look into some recent ghostly shenanigans. In 1976, years after their work with the Perron farmhouse was completed, the Warrens became involved in their most famous case- the Amityville haunting.

Back to this movie. It’s pretty darn creepy, and the movie constantly amps up your anxiety level as it prepares you for the thrills. It’s probably not the best idea to watch it alone, so grab a friend.

Take a close look at the poster below and you’ll see a treat.

The Conjuring 2013

Picture it.

1971. Harrisville, Rhode Island. Roger and Carolyn Perron (Livingston and Taylor, respectively) move into a huge and creaky old home with their 5 daughters and their dog Sadie. Sadie wants no part of this house, but of course no one listens to a dog.

There’s the smell of rotting flesh that drifts between the rooms of the house, there’s a hidden stairwell that the family accidentally stumbles across, and Mom and a couple of the daughters have their own face to face experiences with whatever is haunting their home.

And that’s just the beginning. It gets even better (or worse, for all of you scaredy cats) from there.

Slow and steady wins the race.

There’s no gore or cheap thrills in this movie. Director James Wan deliberately takes his time setting up the pieces of the puzzle, and he does this primarily through Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga respectively). Ed is a self described demonologist and Lorraine is a clairvoyant, and Wan uses these characters to amp up the anxiety levels and keep you gripping the armrests until the end of the movie.

Have you seen this before?

Some critics have slammed the movie because they believe it’s reminiscent of The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and The Amityville Horror. I’ll admit this movie isn’t incredibly original and it hasn’t added anything new to the horror genre. However, it is a fresh departure from the gore-fests that studios are pumping out now. This is a solid movie, and I recommend it to all fans of the genre.

Should you go see it?

If you avoid scary movies go ahead and skip this one. Otherwise feel free to catch this at the theater! Gotta watch this one on the big screen!

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MOVIE REVIEW: EVIL DEAD (2013)

Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Cast:  Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas
Director: Fede Alvarez

When this remake of 1981’s The Evil Dead was first announced, diehard fans flocked online and went smooth OFF. They couldn’t believe that someone dared to remake a classic horror film, and even Bruce Campbell (one of the remake’s producers) had to do some early press to help calm down the fans.

I was skeptical too, because re-makes and reboots of classics don’t turn out well – remember Jackie Earle Haley’s A Nightmare on Elm Street? Yea.

Let’s get to the point here. I really enjoyed this movie. It’s gory, bloody, and just tons of fun. But is it a QUALITY movie? Ehhh…

Evil Dead 2013

Alot of scenes in this remake paid homage to the original movie, but it deviated once we arrived at the final, bloody act. A group of 5 friends meet at a cabin in a heavily wooded area. Mia (Levy) becomes possessed after a deeply cringe-worthy experience in the woods, and when she arrives back at the cabin she unleashes hell upon geeky Lou (Pucci), strict Olivia (Lucas), quiet Natalie (Blackmore), and her brother David (Fernandez). From this point forward the movie is nothing more than an excess of torture, pain, and blood.

There were some things that disappointed me, like the character Natalie. Occasionally she spoke or was spoken to, but she was pretty much invisible until it was her turn to experience hell. Once that happened I found that I just didn’t care about her. Another character, Olivia, was way too unlikeable. She was the ultimate hard-ass and I was happy to see her go. Then I wondered why the other characters would be friends with someone like her. I mention ‘character likeability’ because in horror movies you always need someone to root for. But if you hate everyone on-screen then what’s the point?

I also didn’t like this silly sub story about the friends gathering at the cabin because Mia was on drugs and needed to detox. I thought it was unnecessary and contributed to the fact that some of the characters were not useful. Mia is important because she has to detox. David is her brother, and Olivia is the one who orchestrated the whole thing. But where does that leave Natalie and Lou? This should’ve been a story about friends going on vacation so everyone would have something to contribute once they arrived at the cabin.

Overall, I’d say the remake is definitely worth seeing. I think Jane Levy did a great job as the main character Mia, and I’m a huge horror fan so I enjoyed the gritty nature of the movie. I was disappointed with some parts of the storyline and some of the characters were a huge annoyance to me so I can’t honestly say that Evil Dead is a top tier horror movie, although it definitely tried to be.

Did you enjoy this remake? Let me know!