The Conjuring is a 2013 supernatural horror film directed by James Wan who is also known for directing hits such as Insidious (2011) and Furious 7 (2015). It is based on true series of disturbing events occurring at the farmhouse of Perron Family in Rhode Island in 1971. The family of parents and five daughters started their fresh lives as they moved into a new home and began to experience disturbing things around the house. Surprisingly, Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators discover that a witch called Bathsheba Sherman haunts their property that sacrificed her own child to the devil, later killed herself, cursing anybody who tried to claim her land. Exorcism is subsequently performed on Carolyn to condemn the demonic spirit that has possessed the mother to sacrifice two of her own daughters.
Modern Dramatic Structure
The exposition of the film shows the case of Annabelle as a demonic spirit is trying to possess the nurses. However, the setting of the film is in Rhode Island, United States in 1971 at the farmhouse of Perron Family. Ed and Lorraine Warren are introduced as experienced paranormal investigators whereas Roger, Carolyn, Andrea, Nancy, Christine and April Perron are members of one family ready for a fresh life in their recently purchased house. Moment of conflict arises, as they discover a secret basement, sudden death of their dog Sadie, awful smell around the house, existence of other people and bruises on Carolyn Perron, mother’s body.
The rising action is illustrated through scenes such as when Carolyn encounters the spirit in the basement that claps and the matchstick flickers out subsequently scaring her to death. Andrea and Cindy are attacked by another evil sprit and the father enters just on time to save them all. Lorraine discovers the presence of hateful spirits and how it has latched itself onto the family. Several gadgets are installed around the house to gather evidence for exorcism to be performed and the spirits attack the family as they reacted to the holy crosses placed around the house. As Cindy walked inside a wardrobe, Lorraine was following her with the help of technology and as she fell through to the basement: she saw the spirit of another woman with her dead child who was also possessed by the witch. Along with haunted ‘Annabelle’, the witch also attacks Judy (the daughter of Warrens) to express hatred. Ed Warren is forced to perform exorcism as waiting for the father to do so could result in witch taking her away forever. Throughout, the birds start crashing towards the house, house begins to shake, Carolyn vomits blood, her chair turns upside down and the witch reveals herself as she obeys the command of Ed Warren. As soon as Drew (Warren’s assistant) screams out the whereabouts of April, the mother now possessed by the witch sprints through the secret passage to kill her daughter April.
The climax of the movie starts when Lorraine places her hand on Carolyn’s forehead as an attempt to outweigh the witch’s powers from killing April. Subsequently, Ed concludes his part of the exorcism and condemns the witch back to hell whereas Roger attempts to bring her back as they get her to fight from the inside. Lorraine reminds her about the family’s day at the beach when she was overwhelmed to see her own husband and girls together and how they meant the world to her. (Climax below)
Positive rays glow just before Carolyn vomits out blood referring to successful exorcism. She seems to be frustrated as she looks down giving the audience a sense of tiredness from these horrific events.
She apologizes to April for unknowingly harming her and embraced the rest of the family.However, it is not the end for Warrens as they are asked to solve another case known as the The Amityville Haunting.
According to Aristotle’s formula, the director succeeds in making the audience feel pity for characters affected by Annabelle or other spirits, as they don’t deserve to be possessed and have to go through deadly encounters with such spirits. Secondly, once that emotional connection was achieved, characters were put into worse situations (Rising Action) such as encounters and existence of other spirits to make the audience feel what the characters went through. Lastly, successful exorcism and togetherness of the family released Carolyn from possession by the witch.
The Conjuring is told through linear narrative storytelling as A leads to B, leads to C and there is no audience interaction available and it is also operated through space dimension in terms of chapters.
I chose this particular movie because it is a true story and has been well presented in terms of its casting, cinema, sound and structure. After watching the film, my family was so convinced about the existence of demonic spirits that we had to get a Sikh priest to come and bless our house like the Perron Family. It matters to me because I always believed that supernatural powers could demolish anyone but if one remains strong and has faith in God; no demon can take you away from your loved ones.