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Conjuring, The


Stars: Vera Framiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

Director: James Wan

Lots of paranormal activity here and no mistake. The story's allegedly based on true events that took place in an isolated Rhode Island house in 1971. The Perrons (Taylor, Livingston) move in there with their five daughters to find the place riddled with malevolent spirits. Doors open by themselves, one of the daughters sees a 'special friend', and another is pulled down her bed by unseen hands.

When a third daughter sees a grey and ghoulish figure, atop a wardrobe, which leaps down on her, it's clearly time to call in experienced demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson, Farmiga).

On arrival, the Warrens quickly ascertain that they're facing something more evil and threatening that even they have encountered before.

Wilson, fresh from the same director's Insidious, is as bland as ever, but Taylor, an old horror heroine whistled back from the meadow for one last possession, is just the gal for all this full-throated exorcism and levitation, and gives it 110 per cent.

Farmiga and Livingston offer decent support, although Shannon Kook is too joky as the Warrens' assistant, and just seems to be having a good time. As will horror enthusiasts expecting all the sudden shocks - she's behind you! - that duly arrive.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
112 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Jul 2013