I’m going to start out with a disclaimer: I love this movie. I enjoy Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga together, I’ve been a fan of Ron Livingston since Band of Brothers/Office Space. Put all three together in a demonic possession movie with a based on true events tag? Delightful.
I’m not going to do the Amazon description this time, I’ll do my own. This is the – based on true events – film version of the Warrens (Wilson, Farmiga) investigating the strange events impacting the Perron family (Ron Livingston’s on screen family). It sets up the Warrens for future movies (one so far), and also leaves a lot of doors open for the universe.
That is one thing the Blumhouse and Conjuring/Annabelle movies are great at: they never truly paint themselves into a corner. There are so many directions they could go.
The Warrens are introduced in a non-possession setting. They’re shown giving a lecture, admittedly about their experiences, and shown as family and a team. They’re likable and the chemistry between Farmiga and Wilson shines as a very bright spot from the start.
The Perrons also come across as a decent, happy family. They’ve got a big new house and everything is bright and shiny. Until…
As touched on above, I write enjoyed the acting of the primary three faces I recognize. But the rest of the cast more than pulls their own weight, especially impressive with the younger girls. Everyone in this movie seems natural and their relationships come across as real. Big plus in a movie that requires immersion into the world for the slow build of the horror.
That build is great too. The pacing and the terror go hand in hand. They make a lot of use of not much special effects to create a strong foreboding early on. That, coupled with the genuine character development, makes for a compelling movie in a genre with a lot of misses.
Look. I can’t say enough good things about this movie. It spawned at least three potential series’ (Annabelle, Conjuring, and potentially the Nun). It’s a solid A+. If you like horror, see it. If you like demonic possession movies, see it.
Running Time: An hour fifty-two.
Effects: Subtle but great.
Violence: Minor. Seriously implied.
Gun Use: Not really an issue.
Monster Type? Demon.
Funny? There are some light moments.