Movie Review: “The Conjuring”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: New Line Cinema)

Summary: Based on a “true” story, Ed and Lorraine Warren are a married couple who are “demonologists” that gained notoriety during the surge of demon possession movies in the 1970s.  The Conjuring tells the trite tale of a house they helped sweep free of evil spirits.

Review: Every year a handful of demon possession movies arrives in theaters with nearly identical plots and always based on a “true” story.  If true means predictable, then I’ll buy it.  You know the deal — there are the odd signs, which are ignored by stupefied characters. The demon craves the innocent, all-American family to leave the house — but for an illogical reason, everyone stays. Lastly, the demons proceed to whoop everyone’s a– (normally the best part of the film, here lasting for no more than 10 minutes), which results in another exorcism. Don’t believe the hype, The Conjuring is no different: same formula, same story and different cast.

Due to the strange overhype of James Wan’s latest film, I thought I might enjoy The Conjuring. The opening scene set up a potentially fun horror flick, though not one with the intention of any originality.  In it, a possessed doll is stalking two young women, but this plot line quickly vanishes. Soon after, the flick becomes another haunted house movie (there is no point in summarizing characters and plot twists — you’ve seen and heard it all before) that could easily be seen on SyFy during Halloween season. It’s been four decades since The Exorcist and studios are still trying to replicate the brilliant terror — even The Exorcist sequels couldn’t spit out a good follow-up.

The film includes solid cinematography and the 1970s nostalgia was fun to watch.  But the scares were anti-climactic, sloppily executed and, after an hour of doors slamming, thuds in the night and blaring sound effects, viewers are left with cheap jumps and bland thrills.

Most importantly, horror film audiences need to root for the people on screen. The characters in The Conjuring possessed zero human reactions. Doors slam, animals die, children scream and the actors stare with their mouths slightly agape.  The audience I was with became frustrated by the unrealistic characters and eventually someone yelled, “B—h, get out the damn house!” The Conjuring needed to conjure a better script. Again, the film is based on a true story, but maybe this film shouldn’t have gotten the green light if it was a celluloid copy of the other “true stories.”

In one scene of The Conjuring, a character declares, “God brought us together for a reason!” Too bad it was for this movie, another overrated horror flick rehashing a four-decade old storyline.

The Conjuring is in theaters today.

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Beezlebubba Said on

No blood, no guts, no good? Idiot…this is a masterful, suspense, ghost story.

Dave Said on

I agree with you brother.. 99%. I did think the characters, especially the children, did a great job acting horrified. But as you said, we’ve seen this all before. Nothing new. And yes, it was overhyped – just like Evil Dead. Only this time, they stamped an R rating on the film in hopes that it would gather more at the box office – like Evil Dead. It was PG-13 at best.

Davis Clark Said on

You were probably in the one theater where people would be disappointed by this movie. Or perhaps you just are telling even more lies. You do want to root for the characters, the story IS unique, it IS extremely well made even without the blood and gore you hold onto. And finally YOU ARE AN IDIOT THAT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO REVIEW ON ROTTEN TOMATOES AND PUT DOWN A UNIQUE MOVIE JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE AN IDIOT. That’s it.

Byst Said on

Why all of the hatred for an opinion piece???

I saw The Conjuring this past Saturday with my wife and two other couples. This movie was not frightening and even worse it took a long time to develop. Honestly I thought it would be a very creepy story given the R rating. The Conjuring’s market team gets a lot of praise from me, the hype surrounding this movie will make it a box office smash!

I am quite surprised it is at 85% on RT . The only thing that I can deduce is that we as a society are getting back to “basics”. What I mean by that is we are sick of seeing over-the-top GORE coupled with sexual violence that doesn’t add to the story and we genuinely like a good plot

There is nothing wrong with wanting a good scare but this movie is very slow moving. Comparing this movie to the Exorcist, which some critics are doing, needs to stop. The two are not even in the same realm of terror.

I am looking forward to Insidious Chapter 2! Insidious scared the crap out of me.

Diane Eifert Said on

Clay Cane says it best. It was better then most of these things but nothing like the real story, if it happened at all. Perhaps I have seen to many of these so called (really happened,based on a true story). It just didn’t do it for me.It was just O.K. The last movie to unnerve me was the The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Pretty creepy.

Jesse Said on

I bet if the title was, “Tyler Perry’s: The Conjuring”, it would’ve gotten a B+.