Movie Review: “The Conjuring”Published by Clay Cane on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 10:00 am.
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 over-hyped horror flick rehashing a four-decade old storyline.
The Conjuring is in theaters today.