The Conjuring ★★★★½

84/100

Director James Wan isn't interested in subverting horror tropes or building a scary movie as a homage to the past of the genre; he commits to utter sincerity instead. Through the geography of all the locations and a masterful sense of place and presence, Wan deploys tricks and scares, sounds and images which are completely ordinary. But they still happen to scare us. Why? One word: sincerity. He invests in the family, he forms the Warrens as flawed but kind individuals, and he continues to scare the hell out of us without one winking eye. What was old is new again thanks to Wan's fluid, expansive camera: a roaming spirit in and of itself. It may be an ordinary story, but the presentation, and more importantly, the craft taken in telling it, is far from average. James Wan is the kind of horror director who brings in a heavenly choral score to signal the triumph over evil, with an angelic sunrise beaming in through the roof towards dusty spaces. And the best part? He *sells* it. Truly a modern classic in the horror genre, not for what it portrays, but how it portrays it.

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