Someday Productions LLC and Pillow Talking are pleased to present the following “retro” review of THE CONJURING by Guest Blogger, I.M. Nosferatu
After much negotiating, we are pleased to have this second guest review by I.M. Nosferatu. We hope you like it. Remember the classic novel Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess? It had a Glossary so you could understand the protagonist. I.M. Nosferatu’s Glossary — which you will need to know to fully enjoy the review — is below. And now, here is the debut review of Mr. Nosferatu.
Jasonian – Friday the 13th classic quality level
Sick – Good
Ripper smooth– Smooth like the blade of Jack the Ripper
Horrific – excellent
Horrifically – really
Fangs — Kudos
Bite – shout out
THE CONJURING: Horror
by I.M. Nosferatu
In anticipation of the forthcoming The Conjuring 2 release, I was able to convince (I threatened them to cut them into bite sized morsels to go with fava beans and a nice chianti) Pillow Talking to let me review The Conjuring, considered one of the most financially successful horror films of all time. The film took 15 years and about $20 million to make it and when it was released in 2013 it grossed over $300 million. So many die-hard horror fans out there! If I had a heart, it would swell with pride!
The screenplay and story were based on the files of two very sick, real-life demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Originally, the story focused on one of their case studies, the Perron family farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. But the script later was changed to include the Warrens’ story as well. It received critical praise when it was released.
The story is a mash-up of many established and horrific themes and, consequently, there are many homages to classic horror films. For example, The Amityville Horror, Child’s Play (Chucky), Poltergeist, The Exorcist, the notorious Exorcist-rip Beyond the Door, and even Hitch’s The Birds all receive their share of bites.
The plot is sickeningly familiar. Paranormal investigators and demonologists, the Warrens, are contacted to investigate hauntings going on at the Perron family farmhouse in Rhode Island. What starts out as some mild poltergeist activity morphs into demonic possession with roots going back to a witch who lived at the farm in the 1600s. It’s the classic good vs. evil struggle with innocence (children) caught in the middle.
To its credit, the film is an atavistic throwback to the 1970s horror films that relied on scares rather than straight-up gore (which is appropriate since the film takes place in the 70s). As actor and producer Steve Coogan said, “A woman wearing a revealing dress will always be sexier than a naked woman.” And so it is with true horror. Indeed, the film forces our imaginations to work for a change, rather than showing us every explicit detail via CGI.
Although there are many frightening moments, the film never reaches a Jasonian or Krugerian level. The split between the two focuses (the Warren’s story and the Perron family farmhouse) is a bit distracting. The Anabelle haunted doll intro (which was the subject of its own feature-length horror film in 2014) seems a wasted and out of place exposition.
The only celebrity name who was recognizable was indie maven Lili Taylor of Mystic Pizza, Say Anything, and Rudy fame. She was Ripper smooth as a possessed soccer mom. Too bad she won’t be in the sequel.
And speaking of the sequel, The Conjuring 2 promises more scares and sleepless nights as Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga recreate their roles as Mr. and Mrs. Demonologist and head to the UK to exorcise some British demons (who I’m certain will be more regimented than our wildcat American demons).
Both The Conjuring and its sequel are directed by veteran horror director James Wan who is probably best known for directing Saw in 2004.
While The Conjuring certainly was a critical and financial success, I felt it fell just short of “classic horror” status. However, in the capable hands of Wan and more coin in the budget for a sequel, The Conjuring 2 may be the next Jasonian Exorcist.
I.M. Nosferatu hails from Gehenna (look it up). He has an encyclopedic mind for horror, sci-fi, paranormal, and the occult. He has myriad other hobbies and interests which may not be appropriate to print here (or to divulge at all), but his mission in life (and death) at least for our purposes, is to find good (or as he puts it “sick”), spine-chilling, blood-curdling media in the horror genre and tout it to the world. He is a straight shooter and calls ‘em like he sees ‘em. He will not suffer fools, sycophants, ass-kissers, brown-nosers, and other suck-ups. Pillow Talking is thrilled to have him on board as a guest blogger despite having never met him face-to-face and dealing solely through emails (at odd hours of the night).
If you have something in particular you would like for I.M. Nosferatu to review, you may contact him (if you dare) at IMNos4A2.gmail.com.