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. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  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. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus