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LAFF Review Roundup: James Wan's 'The Conjuring' is Classic Horror (TRAILER)

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood June 22, 2013 at 8:55PM

"The Conjuring" premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Friday night; early reviews call the latest film from "Saw" and "Insidious"creator James Wan a skilled reworking of the old-fashioned horror genre. Variety writes that "The Conjuring" is Wan's best film. Warner Bros. opens the thriller stateside on July 19th.
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'The Conjuring'
'The Conjuring'
"The Conjuring" premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Friday night; early reviews are calling "Saw" and "Insidious" creator James Wan's latest film a skilled reworking of the old-fashioned horror genre. Variety writes that "The Conjuring" is Wan's best film. Warner Bros. opens the thriller stateside on July 19th.

"The Conjuring" stars Vera Famiglia and Patrick Wilson as paranormal investigators. Early reviews are below:

Tim Grierson, Screen Daily:

With its clear echoes of "The Exorcist," "The Conjuring" aims to be a classier, more reserved breed of fright film, showing almost no blood and resorting to few overtly gotcha scares… With that said, however, such quibbles may seem very minor after experiencing The Conjuring’s third act, which is incredibly intense. Wan’s finale may recall dozens of previous horror movies’, but the skill of his staging and the commitment of the performances are such that the film very confidently puts you through one hell of a wringer.    

Justin Chang, Variety

A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory… James Wan’s sixth and best feature is pull-out-the-stops horror filmmaking of a very sophisticated order, treating the story’s spiritual overtones with the utmost sincerity even as it playfully mines all manner of apparent cliches — creaky doors, cobwebbed cellars, toys you’d have to be just plain stupid to play with — for every last shiver of pleasure. What’s a moviegoer to do but join with the demons and applaud?

Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter:

Wan says he set out to make a “classic studio horror film,” and at that he’s more than succeeded. With its minimal use of digital effects, its strong, sympathetic performances and ace design work, the pic harks back in themes and methods to The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror, not quite attaining the poignancy and depth of the former but far exceeding the latter in sheer cinematic beauty.


This article is related to: James Wan, Los Angeles Film Festival, Reviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.