The Conjuring (Blu-Ray Combo Pack) Review
Posted by Tony Farinella on 10.22.2013
Director James Wan just can't get enough of those creepy puppets in the Conjuring, now out on Blu-Ray and DVD!
When I used to work at Blockbuster Video (R.I.P), one question I was always asked by customers, ĎWhatís a good horror movie?í They would then follow up this question by saying how they donít like any of the current horror movies because they are all torture and involve blood and guts. Quite frankly, I always had trouble coming up with an answer to this question, especially with most recent horror movies, although I did enjoy Insidious quite a bit. One horror movie that did very well at the box office and with critics is The Conjuring, which was directed by James Wan (Insidious).
The Conjuring is based on the true case files of the Warrens, played by Vera Farmgia and Patrick Wilson. They are paranormal investigators (what a way to make a living, huh?) who are sent to the home of the Perron Family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) after they begin to notice a number of strange things occurring at their new farmhouse. I imagine the realtor conveniently left out that information from the Perron family when they were looking at the home. They soon start to realize that this house might pass the eye test, but beneath the surface, there is something seriously wrong with it.
This is a well-made, well-acted, and creepy little film, but in the end, it is all a little too familiar for my liking. It has a been there, done that feel to it. It is a slow burn and takes its time before it gets to the good stuff. I imagine it was a great Friday night horror movie to see with a lively audience that reacted to everything. However, the unsuspecting family that moves into a house with a messed up history attached to it storyline is a little played out for my liking. The film gets the job done and I imagine many will enjoy it, but it doesn't offer anything new to the table.
There is considerable skill and talent on display here, especially from the actors. It is rare you see actors like this in a horror movie these days. The performances are really good and they all sell the material perfectly. James Wan really sets the mood just right and is patient with his approach to the story and really lets it unwind slowly but surely. All of this might sound like a positive review and I didnít hate the film, but the story is where it all comes apart at the seams. In the end, The Conjuring will be a great rental for sleepovers, but I donít think it has any real staying power to it.
Blu-Ray Info:The Conjuring is released on a two-disc Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD Ultraviolet copy combo pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. The film is rated R for sequences of disturbing violence and terror.
Video Info: The 1080p high definition 16x9 (2.4:1) transfer is dark and brooding but it is done in a way that is true to the style of the film and the era. It is not done in a way that makes it hard to see what is going on or distracting. The film really pops on Blu-Ray and the colors are vivid and clear. The attention to detail is spectacular and the set pieces really come alive. This is a great looking Blu-Ray.
Audio Info: The audio transfer is DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1 and Iím happy to report it is pitch-perfect. So often on horror movies, the soundtrack can be overbearing, headache inducing, and just way too loud as they try to scare you. Here, they get it right and it is a natural audio track that flows beautifully and sets the mood without becoming annoying.
The Conjuring: Face To Face With Terror: On this special feature, we hear from the Perron family themselves as they talk about the farmhouse they lived in and what they went through back then. This is a great piece that really adds to the film because you get their firsthand perspective on it.
Scaring the @$*% out of You: The director James Wan talks about his approach to scaring audience members and some of his secrets.
A Life in Demonology: We learn more about what it is like to be a demonologist as Lorraine Warren and some of the paranormal experts from the film share some really interesting stories and also show off some of their case work as well. This is some really interesting stuff here.
The 411: The Conjuring is not a bad movie at the end of the day, but its lack of originality really stops it dead in its tracks. Iím sure it will do great on home video and it will be played at many Halloween parties, but it just doesnít measure up in the end. The film looks great and I really enjoyed its 70ís look and how it was captured, but I just canít recommend this one as a purchase.