Image B+ Sound A
starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
screenplay by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes
directed by James Wan
by Walter Chaw Based on a true story in the same way that a pineapple is an apple, James Wan's latest exercise in jump-scare theatre is the workmanlike haunted house/demonic possession flick The Conjuring. In it, the paranormal investigation team of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, co-authors of several books and shown as the film begins lecturing a small auditorium of people on the finer points of ghost-hunting, confront their Greatest Challenge Ever when they're called to the modest New England farmhouse of the Perron family. It seems this was the former home of a WITCH! Can you fucking believe the luck? An evil witch lived in this house. Fuck. A witch. Motherfucker, am I right? You buy a house and you think that...anyway, it really sucks that a witch lived there. It all starts out innocently enough with the largely-indistinguishable Perron girls getting jerked out of bed by an invisible whatever, then evolves into a game of hide and clap (which sounds venereal but isn't, unless you're doing it really wrong) that leads to mommy Carolyn (Lili Taylor) getting thrown down a flight of stairs into a creepy, boarded-up cellar™. That's when daddy Roger (Ron Livingston) calls the Warrens... Well, he doesn't, because he's away on a week-long business trip and he's a skeptic of the Warrens, we learn after the fact... Um... He's not a well-developed character, seeing as how Wan seems distracted by all the loud noises and crap leaping out at the camera.