Sorry, it's not a haunting. It's not a possession. It's THE TRUTH.
There's something comforting about the fact that director James Wan doesn't seem to want to really try anything different. He staked his claim as a hot young talent in the horror genre with "Saw" (2004) and has pretty much stayed there, bringing his sense of old-school theatricality to spirited romps such as "Dead Silence" and "Insidious." Even his one genre departure (sort of), the revenge drama "Death Sentence," felt like a grungy horror flick peppered with Wan's playful flourishes and strong sense of visual style.
Check out the trailer:
Like "Insidious," Wan's latest, "The Conjuring," is a haunted house tale, even though the trailer's title cards challenge the term "haunted." It even stars the star of "Insidious," Patrick Wilson, behind whom Wan loves to put some sort of unspeakable terror he doesn't notice (remember the red-faced demon peeking over Wilson's shoulder in "Insidious"? Here it's a hanging corpse). Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who's always up for playing stressed-out characters in horror movies (see "Joshua" and "Orphan"), portray Ed and Lorraine Warren, the real-life "ghost-hunting" couple dedicated to debunking supposed supernatural goings-on ... or confirming that there is indeed something from beyond the grave making all those bumps in the night.
The Warrens take on the most terrifying case of their lives when they're recruited by Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lily Taylor and Ron Livingston), a couple who've been experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their isolated Rhode Island farmhouse. While the Warrens are certainly experienced paranormal investigators, they soon find they're in over their heads as they come into contact with a terrifying evil that likes to toss the Perron kids around the room to the soothing sounds of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man."
This is all supposedly based on a true story, as if that's supposed to bring a sense of gravitas to photo frames falling off the wall and flocks of crows swarming the house. But take it for what it looks like -- another good horror show put on with James Wan's usual Barnum-esque panache -- and it becomes the summer's must-see scarefest.
"The Conjuring" opens July 19, just in time to bring a chill to one of the year's hottest months.