THE CON­JUR­ING

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Now show­ing Vil­lage Cinemas

Vera Farmiga, Pa­trick Wil­son, Lili Tay­lor, Ron Liv­ingston.

James Wan ( In­sid­i­ous)

Stars:

Di­rec­tor:

AHAUNTED house. A pet­ri­fied fam­ily. A pos­sessed doll. Self- slam­ming doors. Ran­dom clap­ping in the dead of night. As view­ers come to grips with new hor­ror film The Con­jur­ing, it looks as if just an­other batch of cookie- cut­ter creepi­ness is about to be served.

By all means, feel free to ini­tially un­der­rate this finely crafted and gen­uinely scary pro­duc­tion. Mak­ing such a mis­take will only serve to leave you more im­pressed – and rat­tled – than you might oth­er­wise have been.

It is im­por­tant to note the prospects of The Con­jur­ing are helped along by the pos­si­bil­ity it could well be based on a true story.

Sure, we’ve all been burnt by the this­ac­tu­ally- hap­pened thing be­fore. Nev­er­the­less, the events de­picted here are in­deed lifted from the case files of fa­mous para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors Ed and Lor­raine War­ren. Re­mem­ber The Ami­tyville Hor­ror? That was the War­rens, a hus­band- and- wife team who com­pleted each eerie job with a lit­eral re­li­gious fer­vour at the ab­so­lute peak of their pow­ers.

Any­way, the year is 1971. Long- haul truck driver Roger Per­ron ( Ron Liv­ingston) has moved wife Carolyn ( Lili Tay­lor) and their five daugh­ters into what the fam­ily be­lieves will be their dream home.

Of course, the abode is ac­tu­ally a night­mare home – a for­mer farm dwelling with cen­turies of ghastly his­tory left cu­ri­ously un­men­tioned by lo­cal real es­tate agents.

En­ter the War­rens. Lor­raine ( a mag­nif­i­cent

BE­FORE MIDNIGHT ( MA15+) an­chor­ing per­for­mance by Vera Farmiga) is close to be­ing burnt out in the af­ter­math of a re­cent case, while Ed ( Pa­trick Wil­son) is in two minds about stay­ing in the ghost- bust­ing busi­ness. But a sim­ple walk- through of the Per­rons’ prop­erty is enough to con­vince Lor­raine and Ed they must take the job.

A sup­port team is as­sem­bled. It is go­ing to take an ex­or­cism to rid the house of its un­wanted res­i­dents. Be­fore such a rit­ual can hap­pen, per­mis­sion from the Vat­i­can must be sought and granted – and that takes a lot of in­dis­putable ev­i­dence of de­monic ac­tiv­ity.

To its credit, The Con­jur­ing never over­plays any of the limited range of cards that must be ju­di­ciously placed on the ta­ble at key junc­tures.

The di­rec­tion of Aus­tralian film­maker James Wan is a rev­e­la­tion in this re­gard.

While he al­lows you to oc­ca­sion­ally laugh at the grue­some go­ings- on, you will never ex­pe­ri­ence the urge to look down upon them.

You will be too in­volved, too in­trigued and too soft­ened- up to ask too many hard ques­tions.

THIS IS THE END ( MA15+)

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