The Conjuring

August 8, 2013 - A family from New Jersey moves to small town Rhode Island for some peace and quiet. Instead, they get demons! Who they gonna call? They call Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real-life, husband-and-wife team of ghostbusters. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (Orphan) play the Warrens. Lili Taylor shines as the possessed mom. James Wan, best known for his work on the Saw franchise, directs this horror flick based on a true story.

The year is 1971 and Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) and his wife, Carolyn (Taylor) move their five daughters into an old farmhouse in rural Rhode Island. The place is a fixer-upper, to be sure, and it came with a cellar full of junk.

It doesn't take long, though, for bad things to start happening. The family dog is the first to go. Soon, birds start crashing into the house. The daughters start noticing awful smells. And, the youngest child opens a music box and makes friends with Rory, a boy that only she can see.

Soon, the mom, who's developed mysterious bruises on her body, seeks help. She tracks down noted demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren at a college lecture and convinces them to come to her house, like, now! As soon as the Warrens get there, Lorraine uses her clairvoyant powers to sense evil presences. Ed becomes convinced when Carolyn's voice doesn't show up on the tape recorder. It all sets up a thrilling ending in which the Warrens battle for their own souls and those of the Perron family.

Overall review: *** I went to see this movie mainly because of Vera Farmiga, who was very good in Orphan. She's good here, too, but it's Lili Taylor who really stands out as the mom battling evil with every ounce of strength she has. The rest of the cast performs well, and the soundtrack doesn't overpower. Whether you believe the story should have no bearing on your ability to enjoy the film.