Latest Stories


‘The Conjuring’ will scare you out of your seats


ANCIENT horrors plague a family in “The Conjuring.”

The best horror movies chase the same insidious ideal: to come up with new ways to scare moviegoers right out of their seats.

Directors shake their brains with fresh methods of frightening grownups into covering their eyes from what unfolds onscreen. The terror roll call: 1976’s “The Omen,” 1980’s “The Shining,” 1982’s “Poltergeist,” 1998’s original “Ringu” from Japan, 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project,” 2002’s “Ju-on: The Grudge,” 2007’s “[Rec]” from Spain, and, perhaps the scariest of them all, 1973’s “The Exorcist.”

The cutting edge (pun intended) of horror moviemakers continues to plunge into the depths to bring fear into the hearts of cynical, seen-it-all audiences. But sometimes, the best way is to take a horror classic and then amp up the scare level as high as it will go.

This is what James Wan, the director of “Insidious” and “Saw,” does with “The Conjuring.” He takes the familiar conceit of the haunted house and then uses everything in his arsenal to shock the hell out of any audience.

HORROR HOUSE Director James Wan brings you to another level of scary.

Paranormal investigator

“The Conjuring” benefits from having real-world connections. The film is based on the real-life experiences of paranormal investigator Ed Warren (“Insidious” star Patrick Wilson) and clairvoyant wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga from TV’s “Bates Motel”), who later famously investigated what would be known as the Amityville house.

In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor, respectively) happily move their five daughters into an old house in Rhode Island, what they believe to be a dream home of their own. But their idyllic stay is immediately interrupted by unexplained events. The Perrons shrug it off, but the events not only continue, but increase in their intensity and nature.

When they are shaken to their core, the Perrons plead with the Warrens to help them. “There’s something happening in my house,” Carolyn says.

Reluctantly, the Warrens agree and travel to the Perron home. They realize right away something’s not right. “Something’s definitely here,” Lorraine warns.

So, that’s it, right? The investigators come and solve everything and the Perrons live happily ever after?

That’s what would happen in any other horror movie, but not this one. That was just the first part of “The Conjuring”—the rest of the movie is spent not only dealing with the malevolent spirits in the house, but even what happens after that.

Demonic activity

It’s like Wan decided to show you what happens when a paranormal investigation doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to—and the Warrens aren’t quite sure they can handle it.

“The three stages of demonic activity are infestation, oppression and possession,” says Ed Warren, and all three are present and accounted for.

PATRICK Wilson and Vera Farmiga play paranormal investigators

Horror films usually use either the now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t spookiness of atmosphere, or the outright “booo!” school of revelation. Wan wisely uses the first to slip into the second, with the actual horror still being there when you open your eyes.

He expands on the storytelling to include the tragic and horrifying things that happened there before the Perrons arrived.

What makes “The Conjuring” so frightening is that it takes what you already expect from horror films and then goes into “I-can’t-believe-he-went-there” territory. There are the usual spooky shenanigans—objects moving by themselves, mysterious noises, doors opening—but then Wan dares to go into more alarming fare. It will forever change the way you look at the game of hide-and-seek.


There is a terrifying possession in this movie that will certainly leave an impression, as well as a new doll to add to the roster of famous horror movie dolls (Chucky, meet Anabelle).

So, take the proper precautions: Don’t watch the movie alone, avoid cellars, keep the lights on and try to be asleep by 3 a.m.

There are several reasons why “The Conjuring” broke box-office records when it opened in the United States in July. Helping Wan do this are the over-the-top score by Joseph Bishara and the accurate costumes by Kristin Burke (you will swear it’s really the 1970s).

Though it is built on classic horror tropes, “The Conjuring” is in reality a very modern movie in a period setting, with director Wan maximizing contemporary techniques to strike fear into the hearts of moviegoers.

Aided by all that and the verisimilitude offered by the Warrens’ files, “The Conjuring” is the most terrifying movie to come a-haunting in a while. Consider yourselves properly warned—and invited.

Warner Bros’ “The Conjuring” will have sneak peeks in selected cinemas on Aug. 12 and 13, before opening wide on Aug. 21.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: movies , Super , “The Conjuring”

  • peach black

    sobra ang hype sa pelikulang ito. punum-puno ng clichés. walang bago. i want my money back

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Love it or hate it? Kris Aquino’s new hairstyle
  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over