Had an opportunity to see "The Conjuring" this weekend. As a movie--and suspending the fact that there are people out there promoting it as 'based on a true story' (oh yeah, we've heard THAT one before)--it was well done. Sound acting, believable, sympathetic characters and a genuinely entertaining film. Lilli Taylor as the mother is spot on. I have loved her since "I Shot Andy Warhol" so I knew she would do well. What surprised me were the acting chops of the children in the film. They were convincing and you actually cared about what was going to happen to them. Ed and Lorraine Warren are portrayed very sympathetically and the acting performances of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are stellar.
It almost makes you forget that it is a big huge honkin' pile of para~crap.
I do want to clarify that while this movie is about the Perron family, it is not based on the book House of Darkness, House of Light by Andrea Perron. It is instead based on the Warren case files. The family is featured and some of the story they told is there, but this film is more from the Warren's point of view. I have not read the book, so I will not speak of the Perron family at this time. However, I have no issue speaking about the Warrens. In the very beginning, Ed and Lorraine's 'credentials' are noted and throughout the film there are references to their other cases and their presence in the media. Lorraine Warren even shows up in a cameo during one of their lectures (way to get exposure!!).
There are of course discrepancies in the story that is told historically. The supposed 'witch' that lived on the property named Bathsheba is indeed buried in the graveyard close to the home, however there is NO evidence whatsoever that she was a witch. And speaking of witches...if I were a member of the pagan community, I would seriously be offended at the way witches are portrayed in this film...as baby-killing Satanists.
The dramatics of course are a bit hard to swallow at times but in all actuality it added something to the movie (at least for me) that made it a bit more entertaining. It was funny as hell. Hilarious even. Watching Ed get told that he is going to have to perform an exorcism on the spot when he has never done so before without a priest present is worthy of one of the best 'DaFUQ???' moments on film. Or better yet, when he tells someone that 'being in a haunted house is like stepping on a piece of gum..you might take some of it with you." THIS is the guy that everyone says is the world-renowned demonologist? I think I'll take the demon.
So for all of those who want to go see the film, I won't add any more spoilers to it. I was going to post a link that had more information about the real story--however it had really too much information, including the location of the actual home where the Perron's lived until 1980. The present owners are having a LOT of issues of thrill seekers and trespassers on their property, so out of respect for them, I won't post anything here that would in any way make their home easier to find. However, I will post a rather interesting link from 2009 that examines some of the claims of the Warrens.
All in all, a decent movie,stellar acting and the greatest piece of camp since The Amityville Horror. Oh wait...that case ended up being on the Warren files as well.