James Wan the director of SAW and Insidious seems to love horror movies. His new film The Conjuring casts character actors Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston as Carolyn and Roger Perron, a couple with kids who start to experience things that go bump in the night when the family move into an old farmhouse in New England. Strange crashing and banging noises are heard, household objects are thrown around and a ghost makes its presence known during an innocent family game. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play the ghostbusters that are called in by the Perron family to investigate the haunting. The main cast members have all starred in horror films in the past and they are all reliable performers. Some horror fans may remember Wilson’s role in Insidious where he delivered a good performance as a family man haunted by ghosts. Lili Taylor starred in Abel Ferrara’s offbeat vampire movie The Addiction years ago and Vera Farmiga was convincing as a mother having trouble with her adopted daughter in Orphan.
The trailer is quite creepy and it successfully builds feelings of tension and dread. It also does a good job at playing with the viewers imagination which is very effective. That kind of thing is seldom seen in horror movies these days. The structure of the trailer is also fairly simple and it avoids overdoing things with buckets of blood and CGI effects. The Conjuring looks like a traditional ghost story and may be similar in style to films like The Woman in Black remake or The Others. Films in this category often rely more on story and atmosphere than blood and guts which is nice. It’s difficult to judge how scary the film will be based on the trailer as it doesn’t reveal too much. It will be good if the movie can jolt audiences in their seats with a few well placed shocks or at least make them feel uneasy as the tension rises.
James Wan has some good ideas and he is a competent director. His first horror movie Stygian is not very well known but he became famous for his second horror effort SAW which started a whole new series of films. It also introduced horror fans to Jigsaw who became one of the most popular horror movie bad guys in the last decade. Wan then went on to direct other horror flicks like Dead Silence and more recently the sequel to Insidious which comes out later this year. Working in the same genre for so long allows a director to hone and fine tune their skills so hopefully Wan’s latest films will be good.
Apparently the film was also originally scheduled for release in January but due to positive test screening responses it was re-scheduled for a summer release. If that rumor is true then it is a very good sign and the movie may turn out to be worth a look. Creepy and unsettling films that slowly build atmosphere are always welcome and stay in the memory long after the viewer has left the cinema.
The Conjuring will be released on July 19th.
Take a look at the trailer and let us know what you think.