Stars: Jill Evyn, Lane Townsend, Jeremy Walker, Emily Claeys, Pamela Finney, Sergio Alejandro, C.S. Boris, Anne Hallinan, Val Garrahan, Dixon Phillips | Written and Directed by Bidisha Chowdhury
Known also as Adaline, The Conjured is a paranormal horror movie both written and directed by Bidisha Chowdhury (whose only previous film work includes a couple of short films). Daniella (played by Jill Evyn) inherits a place in the countryside and decides to move in and attempt to make it her home. The house, though, seemingly has a history that isn’t so great and thus the horror of the film begins.
I didn’t know anything about The Conjured before watching it but the opening and eventual happenings seemed very cliché to me. I was expecting everything that happened to happen, and not in the best way. It found itself entering tedious territory on a number of occasions, and in the end, it found itself becoming one of those movies that just isn’t very good. There are just plenty more films that do what this one does, only much better.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though. The acting isn’t too bad, especially from Evyn (Park City) who does a decent job with the script and story on offer to her. It is one of those occasions where, as a viewer, you count yourself lucky that the lead performance is the film’s strongest, and so it makes things just that bit easier to digest. The writing is a touch on the corny side, and there were many instances where the film felt cringe-worthy in its visual style. I liked some of the camera shots, and a number of locations were very cool, but overall it felt amateurish and rushed, with too many scenes where nothing really happened.
I think many people will give The Conjured a chance hoping for something akin to The Conjuring, due to the cover art and new title, but be warned; you won’t get anything like that here. The Conjuring was an effective, creepy and well-acted film, and its sequel followed suit, but the only similarity to be found here is the soundalike title.
I don’t like to be unnecessarily harsh on films. I like to be as objective as I can without insulting the performers and creators. I sadly just had a hard time finding things to like about this one. Chowdhury obviously has potential, and with a writer to come up with some good ideas I think his eye for certain shots could lead to something decent in the future, and there are a couple of okay acting jobs in the film, mostly from its female lead. I just struggled through this. It was boring too often, didn’t offer any scares or real tension, and failed to bring a strong haunting atmosphere which, based on the location, seemed very possible to do.
The Conjured is released on DVD on October 10th.