What a great year for horror so far. Things were looking bleak with TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D and THE LAST EXORCISM 2 but quickly turned around with EVIL DEAD(2013). I haven't seen it yet but on high recommendation and a so-so one THE PURGE seems legit. While it won't appeal to everyone THE ABC'S OF DEATH is a milestone in horror genre cinema. V/H/S/2 is a found footage/horror anthology masterpiece despite a weak wraparound. Even the remake of MANIAC was awesome. I feel dirty for saying that, but it's true. Somewhere hidden between all of the violence and killing was a interesting take on the slasher flick genre that kept me watching. It made me think what if Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO was an exploitation film? Cool stuff to ponder if you're a movie buff.
Everybody likes to be scared. Some will argue and deny it, but everybody to some degree likes to be scared. Nothing greater than the trill of a group of friends getting spooked and then laughing about it later. Horror movies for me are a great release. I love a good slasher movie with a jump scare here and there. The haunted house genre I always hesitate because despite what you may or may not believe, these flicks tend to appear more real than a zombie in a hockey mask.
As a kid the haunted house movies freaked me out more than Jason or Freddy because at school you would have a classmate or friend that swore their house was haunted. Bigger the house, the more haunted it was. A lot of times it was just for fun and games but once in awhile you'd hear a story that seemed true. Your friends sisters waking the both of you up in the middle of the night claiming the house is haunted? Playful B.S. A demon using your friends Nintendo to play tricks on you? You decide. But like I said, the movies freaked me out. One look at GHOST STORY and or POLTERGEIST then it's bye-bye for me. Back in the day I remember flipping through channels and I saw this couple in a tub and the woman pops up out of the water screaming. I could not change the channel fast enough! The same goes for POLTERGEIST when the kids clown doll comes to life and drags the boy under the bed. CLICK! Since then I've grown to appreciate the genre.
One thing to note is that THE CONJURING is an exorcism movie and I'm just as terrified at those as I am at the haunted house films.
THE CONJURING is based on a true story. The Perron family moves into a new house that unbeknownst to them is cursed. There is some serious evil in this house. How the story goes is that back in the Salem witch hunt days a mother daughter team lived in the house. The daughter got pregnant and her mom convinced her to sacrifice the unborn child to Satan. That's the gist of the story along with some cursing the house at it's future occupants. I don't want to spoil everything for you.
The evil spirits want the Perron family dead. After putting up with torment after torment the family seek the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the famous paranormal investigators. The Warren's have seen it all. The real deal all the way down to warped wooden floors that creak in the night. They are semi retired after a bad exorcism took a toll on Lorraine. The Warrens hear the Perron plea and decide to help. What happens next is truly one of the most terrifying horror movies to come out in years. In years!
When reviewing comedies I don't like to spoil the jokes. The same goes for horror movies, telling you the scary parts ruin it. The refreshing thing is that the movie isn't just jump scare after jump scare. Director James Was has mastered the ability to know just how long to build the tension until the viewer cannot handle it anymore. Perfect catch and release. One scene captures the 'somebody is in my room' probably the best I've ever seen done. The lighting and everything brought back memories of the boogeyman hiding in my bedroom. I could go on and on. This is what sells the film. The elements that make a horror movie scary are all present and accounted for in THE CONJURING.
My final thoughts are the more that I think about this movie the more I love it. At this moment it is my favorite movie of the year. It's been awhile since I've liked a horror movie this much and that makes me even more happy.