You saw Wolf Creek and barely batted an eyelid. You thought Silence Of The Lambs was a quaint tale about an adventurous couturier that wanted to try working with skin. So, when you heard about The Conjuring – the R-rated ‘scariest film of 2013’ – the idea that it could raise even one hair on your body was, well, laughable. But it’s time you dropped the bravado, because I’m telling you this shit’s scary. I mean really, really, seriously scary.

Based on the real case files of demonologists Edward and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), The Conjuring tells the tale of the Perron family and their battle with a pretty foul-tempered demon.

We’re first introduced to the smiling, all-American Perron family when they move into an isolated farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. And, as is the case with all good horror films, pretty soon things start to go wrong.

They find their pet dog dead after the first night. There’s strange creaks and bangs, unexplainable bruises, and birds keep flying into the windows and snapping their necks. Hmmm…this is not looking good, Perron family. Why don’t you just leave?

But guess what? The Perrons decide to stay! The upshot of which is 112-minutes of spine-shivering, hair-raising, peeping-through-your-fingers cinematic-induced terror.

Australian director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) has outdone himself with this one. We’re talking multiple possessions, cute kids being dragged by the hair by invisible demons, a mother that turns on her family and tries to murder her young, and some ace projectile blood vomiting.

You might think the ‘true story’ claim is a load of codswallop and that demonic possession is about as likely as Kim Kardashian winning a Nobel Peace Prize, but whether fact or fiction, this is a successfully terrifying film. Think Poltergeist meets The Exorcist with a dash of The Blair Witch Project and you’ve got The Conjuring. Sweaty palms guaranteed.

4/5 stars

BY AMELIA SAW

The Conjuring is in cinemas now.

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