Archive for July, 2013


Abjuration of The Conjuring

July 31, 2013


It seems that watching “The Conjuring”, which set off my Spider Sense before even making the attempt, was a mistake.  Still, ever one to give something a fair shake of the stick, as it were…

By way of a disclaimer, I should point out that I like horror films.  From “Nosferatu” to “Cannibal Ferox”, from “The Legend of Hell House” to “Silent Hill”.  However, …

From a horror movie standpoint, “The Conjuring” is a pastiche of “The Amityville Horror” 1&2 and Poltergeist in places with a modern remake feel.  The problem there is that the modern feel tends to espouse the steady build-up approach and opt for a rapid jump cut technique that can leave you spinning at times.  Occasionally, it’s easy to forget which house a set is supposed to represent and then, when a character comes into shot, I found myself thinking “What are they doing there?”, when, in fact, the jump cut was so fast that the change in location was temporarily lost on me.

Thinking of editing, it seems rather haphazard at times, like it’s been done by Ray Charles with a cut throat razor.

Soundtrack-wise, this could be just about any modern movie.  Audio tropes abound.  At least the dialogue is fairly clear, which is a change these days.

The actors playing the Warrens give very human performances.  Anyone who’s seen footage of the actual Warrens will know how much of a surprise that will have been.

Content:  Well, here’s where I reach a bit of a sticky situation.  Firstly, the start of the film proclaims that the contents of this film are only just being told now, for the first time.  Well, the book that one of the Perron’s wrote and was published over two years ago must be a figment of my imagination, then.  Proclaiming it to be based on a “True Story”…

There are a slew of problems inherent here.  Firstly, the “True Story” banner has to be considered somewhat flexible.  Paranormal encounters are usually personal experiences.  I’m not in a position to say yea or nay as to the veracity of the experiences of others.  “Based on” also gives the film makers a lot of leeway and that, I think, gets thoroughly exercised here.

Secondly, the Warrens turn up and seem to go to “It’s demonic!” by default.  There’s nothing quite like telling scared people that they’re tangling with a “demon”, I suspect.  If that is, indeed, the way things unfolded, then I would have to call that course of action irresponsible at best.

Now for my biggest problem with the film.  I’m an eclectic grey Pagan.  The whole “evil witch” thing is really not on.  If any of the Abrahamic faiths had been slandered like that, there’d be trouble.  It appears that Christians, Jews and Muslims of all stripes are unassailable as far as mainstream cinema is concerned.  Pagans, often witches, are thrown with abandon into the grinder and vilified.

It’s not on, but I have to accept that my expectations were lived down to, despite trying to approach with some form of neutrality.

Peace and Blessed be!