Thursday, August 1, 2013

Xpress Reviews: The Conjuring & Apartment 1303 3D

Wow, I watched two new horror movies in a row this week. I think that's a new record for me seeing that Halloween is still far away (not really a horror fan). But despite both being horror, these two movies can't be on more opposite sides of the spectrum in many aspects.

# The Conjuring [2013]

"This Thing Has Latched Itself To Your Family"

Directed By: James Wan
Written By: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver
The Story: Supposedly based on the true story of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed (played by Patrick Wilson) is a noted demonologist while Lorraine (played by Vera Farmiga) is a clairvoyant. Throughout their career, one case stands out the most, where an old farmhouse is recently occupied by Carolyn Perron (played by Lili Taylor), her husband Roger (played by Ron Livingston), and their five daughters.
The Verdict: Believe the hype! This film will be a classic favourite for many people the world over, horror fans or not. It's that good! Bought to life by some great acting, this movie carries a whole lot of scares and tension.
Often when watching horror films, the audience can sometime anticipate when scares are about to occur. The music or silence in the movie sometimes gives it away. Not the case here. The tension building is immense. The entire cinema unanimously holds their breath anticipating.... the scare should come any moment now.... still holding our breath.... still haven't arrived.... still holding.... still not there... AND BOO!!! THERE IT IS!! Director James Wan toys with us masterfully in every chilling scene, while the climatic finale is one of the most intense in my entire cinematic memory. Never have I had such a profound feeling of comfort and relief when that scene was over.
I also loved the origins of the haunted house. Most films would just have someone die or killed. But here we have the mother-load of all hatred origins! Throughout the movie, I lost count of how many times I screamed "Holy shit!". Oh and finally, if I were a politician or world leader, I would ban the game of "Hide-and-Clap" indefinitely. After seeing this, I'm sure many would back my motion!
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

# Apartment 1303 3D [2013]

"Hey Little Girl, How Did You Get Here Before Me?"

Directed By: Michael Taverna
Written By: Michael Taverna, Kei Oishi
Starring: Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay, Julianne Michelle, Corey Sevier, John Diehl, Madison McAleer
The Story: Having the opportunity to escape the controlling grip of her mother (played by Rebecca De Mornay), Janet Slate (played by Julianne Michelle) moves into wonderful high-rise apartment at what seems an incredible deal. Janet is soon found dead haven fallen from her 13th floor balcony. Her sister, Lara (played by Mischa Barton) moves into the apartment in order to investigate and soon encounters the building's weird occupants.
The Verdict: Believe the hype! Wait, there is no hype surrounding this whatsoever. Exactly! Over a decade ago, Mischa Barton starred in the classic movie The Sixth Sense [1999]. Now she has returned to horror, but while back then Shyamalan's breakthrough hit garnered a Oscar nomination, Apartment 1303 looks destined the opposite direction for a Razzie instead. The only thing remotely scary about this movie is that is was released in most cinemas in 3D! Rip-off! The only elements worthy to be branded horror here are the atrocious acting, characters, and dialogue! The soundtrack and effects sound extremely cheap too and are thrown in regardless of the situation on screen. This movie apparently received an "R" rating. Why bother? Kids either will not be scared or they'll doze-off from boredom 15 minutes into the movie. Watching the trailer... even teaser trailer... to The Conjuring [2013] would be much more worthwhile than this piece of crap.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10


  1. Fantastic that you liked The Conjuring! I loved the origin story too, even though people keep focusing on the witch tons of horrible things happen in the house, in reality too, there are like 9 murders that happened there. I'd never move to a place like this :)

    1. I'm always sceptical when I read "based on true story" because probably less than 50% is true. But my, that was one hell of an origin story.

  2. Great review Asrap! I'm extremely curious but I know if I watch The Conjuring I'd not be able to sleep for months. Even that quote alone "This Thing Has Latched Itself To Your Family" sounds terrifying!

    1. I'm not really all that brave either. But this is one of the scariest films I've seen recently!


    good read..sila try, origin dia xda la teruk mana...and lepas aku abih tgk 2nd time cerita ni..aku cam tertanya la gak..dah muka Annabel tu cam SETAN!..pehal la gi simpan lagi..cari sakit tul..but tgk origin nyer kat link tu..makes moreeeeeeeeeee sense..

    dan terima kasih for 1303..xyah aku rugi sajaaa

    1. Thanks for that link.... love it!!! And not just for The Conjuring info but also real stories on other movies too!

      Pasal Apartment 1303 tuh... budjet rendah... mcm tgk cite seram melayu yg straight tu DVD awal thn 2000-an dulu... Blok 404, kem 505.... hehe.. aku jrg tgk cite melayu... so itu je reference aku :p

  4. I felt that The Conjuring had a lot going for it. The film was well acted and it had a creepy atmospheric set up. However, I did not find it very frightening and a lot of the film felt very derivative.

    1. I was quite the opposite... I really was frighten and thought it was very suspenseful. But then again I've always been a scary cat and haven't seen much horror!

  5. Forgot about Mischa Barton lol.

    As for The Conjuring, I really enjoyed it (how creepy was that doll?). I wasn't a fan of the ending though, I found it to be a cheap way to finish the film.

    1. The actual real-life doll was quite normal looking. You could see it at the link given by thanezra in comments above.

      Mischa Barton would probably be in a reality show in a few more years. They all do!


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