Movies about haunted houses are nothing new in Hollywood – and sometimes it feels like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But with The Conjuring, the creep factor is so high, it almost feels like director James Wan reinvigorated the whole genre.
Based on a true
story and set in the 1970s, it introduces us to real-life supernatural investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) by way of one of the most terrifying cases they ever pursued. Thanks to Wan’s reliance on old-school storytelling techniques and practical effects instead of guts, gore, and CGI, The Conjuring feels too real at times. By the end, one perfectly nice family has been nearly destroyed by the evil forces that overpower their Rhode Island farmhouse, and the Warrens’ amazing ability to tap into other realms is more or less stuff of legend.
The Conjuring was so successful when it was released in July 2013, it spawned the creepy-doll spinoff Annabelle and a sequel, The Conjuring 2, which is primed to become another summertime hit when it releases on June 10th.