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‘The Conjuring’ is a suspenseful and thrilling film

THE CONJURING (R) - Starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, MacKenzie Foy, Joey King, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland and Kyla Deaver. The film starts out by telling us it’s a true story. It transpires in 1971 New England and takes its time getting going, beginning with groups of characters on two different tracks that will eventually come together. There are Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga), the famed demonologists who travel all around the northeastern United States investigating suspected paranormal activity. Often, they discover natural explanations for seemingly ghostly or demonic occurrences, but there are times when they have to call in a sympathetic priest to perform an exorcism. Unlike most protagonists in ghost stories, they’re smart, competent and never lose their cool. The victims are the members of the Perron family: father Roger (Livingston), mother Carolyn (Taylor) and their five daughters. It doesn’t take long before strange things begin happening in their new “dream home.” This offers the right mix of jump-scare moments and mounting tension that create an intense two hours. The film works by not trying to hit viewers over the head with shock effects. Things are slowly revealed, but rather than making it dull, that increases the tension. It’s nice to see a horror film that’s suspenseful and thrilling and not full of gore and violence. RATING: B+

2 GUNS (R) - Starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, Bill Paxton and Paula Patton. This film is about a pair of undercover agents, neither of whom is aware of his partner’s real identity. Bobby Trench (Washington) is DEA and Stig (Wahlberg) is Navy Intelligence, but each thinks he’s paired up with a legitimate crook. Their mutual goal is to take down cartel lord Papi Greco (Olmos). Their plan to do this, which is never fleshed out in such a way that the audience can fully understand it, has something to do with robbing a bank where Papi’s money is supposedly stashed in safe deposit boxes. After the robbery takes place, however, it comes to light that the stolen money belongs to the CIA and their enforcer (Paxton) wants it back. Additional complications occur when Stig’s commanding officer, Quince (Marsden), decides the money should be his and when Bobby’s ex-girlfriend, Deb (Patton), becomes involved. Washington and Wahlberg make a good duo. The movie is loud, fun and quick-moving. RATING: B-

(Kyla Davis is a Nevada native and a movie enthusiast. She can be reached at kylalovesmovies@aol.com.)

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