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Director James Wan takes a stab at the old hat story of "new family, old house, demon possession". But his cast of complex characters - fully realized by incredibly earnest performances from leads Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson - coupled with his beautifully atmospheric and perfectly paced storyline makes for an engrossing watch that feels more vintage classic than old-hat. Wan uses every scare tool at his disposal starting with composer, Joseph Bishara's, full orchestral backing that immediately plunges the audience into the dark and unsettling world of lovable demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Bishara's jabs and stings on the high strings do a tastefully terrifying tango with some top notch effects and make-ups that make every scare effective to its absolute fullest. The Conjuring conducts you through its hair raising tale. It uses your intimacy with derivative scare tactics against you, easing you into a familiar space only to attack you from the shadowy corner you missed. All the while, Wan manages to balance the intense jump scares with moments of beauty and humor, keeping the audience scared, but rapt and never shocked out of their suspensions of disbelief. Atmospheric and original, The Conjuring raises the bar to exactly what a horror movie should be.




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