Movie Review: The Conjuring


The Conjuring
Release Date: July 19th, 2013
Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor 
Director: James Wan
Genre: Horror
Rating: R
Current Location: In Theaters 
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% - FRESH


Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.




Review

I love scary movies. And then, I hate them. There are some I am unwilling to see (Insidious, Paranormal Activity 4, The Strangers) because they look so terrifying that I'm afraid I won't sleep for the next month. But there are some so compelling that I have no choice but to torture myself. The Conjuring is just that. 
TAGLINE: Look what you made me do.
The plot focuses on a family who recently moved into a house that's clearly haunted. Strange happenings include clocks stopping at 3:07 am every night, the cold, looming figures, random "knocking" and gross odors. After being terrorized, they contact Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators to help ease their fear.

The fact that this is based on a true story (not just true happenings) intensifies the creepiness. I entered the movie with a bit more knowledge about the original story after reading an EW article where they interviewed Lorraine Warren who's in her eighties now. The Warrens are the demonologists who were involved in the Amityville Horror haunting and The Haunting of Connecticut. And they keep all these artifacts from haunting IN THEIR BASEMENT. In that respect, I think they're crazy.

Annabelle, a pretty creep doll also appears in the film.The real life version (in the Warrens' BASEMENT) is more like a pillow whereas the one in the film looks like a marionette. Here's the photo of the difference. (I didn't want to post it here because dolls terrify a lot of people, even me at times.) What it boils down to is that this movie is scary only if you believe it's really happened before.

The plot worked so well. The mother is the one who starts going insane, being picked on by the things that haunt her house. And you fear for the daughters as well.


The acting helped the film tenfold. And I'd say that I was on my toes the whole time, even if some scenes weren't as scary as I imagined them to be. There were no sluggish parts because the story jumped from the family in the house to Ed and Lorraine who have a young daughter of their own. 

Ed Warren: We've been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.
Lorraine Warren: But we prefer to be known simply as Ed and Lorraine Warren.

And Lorraine was so compelling. These are heroes you want to root for. Whenever she looked scared, I was scared. Because she's so freakin' strong that you wonder what could terrify her. 


And even though the Warrens are by far the strongest part of the film, they also caused it to be less than scary. Krista and I agreed that if you take out the Warrens -- the safety net, the heroes -- the family is basically all alone in this house, trapped and terrified without any comfort coming in to save them. Having the Warrens around is like having the Marvel superheroes stand guard outside your door. You feel an extreme sense of security throughout the film, which takes away from the scariness. 

But for me, horror films don't have to be one-hundred percent pee-your-pants terrifying in order to be great. They have to have a compelling plot, people to root for, and a satisfying conclusion. The Conjuring nailed all three. 

If you like utterly horrific films that will have you cringe and stay wide-eyed awake in bed afterwards, then The Conjuring is not for you. I'd suggest Evil Dead which I am still traumatized from. Scariest movie ever (the remake). Never again. Even though The Conjuring isn't as haunting, the plot keeps you hooked from start to finish, and the terrific acting makes the true story seem even more real.



ROBOT VERDICT: A horror film that'll be marked as a classic. You'll want everyone to stay alive, and you'll cross your fingers for more Ed and Lorraine Warren. New haunting please!

19 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you liked this, but the cover alone is enough to warne me: THIS IS NOT YOUR KIND OF A FILM, SIIRI. I'm a HUGE HUGE HUGE!!!!! (if you didn't get it already: H-U-G-E) coward :D I'm scared of everything and anything. LOL. I don't know how I'm still alive considering how many things I truly fear. Horror movies are so not my thing, but hey! Props for you for enjoying a good horror story:)

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    1. Haha! Yes, if you do not like horror movies, this is definitely not for you. I have a friend who LOVES them because she literally cannot be scared. I'm somewhere in between. I'm semi-brave, semi-cowardly :D

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  2. I used to love scary movies but somehow as I've gotten older I've turned into a big baby. lol Part of me really liked the appeal of this one but I don't know if I can do it. Maybe someday? lol

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    1. I'm the exact opposite. The older I get, the less scared I've become :D You can do it! It's not too scary...

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  3. Ermmm, I do not watch horror movies. I'm just too chicken to even TRY. That being said, I love that this is more than just scare after scare and that the plot is actually compelling. AND CREEPY DOLLS? *runs as far away as possible*

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    1. The creepy doll was honestly one of the scariest parts of the film!

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  4. So excited for this movie, especially since critics have been saying it's the scariest modern horror film (we've had a lot of crappy horror films lately, unfortunately). And it's VERA FARMIGA. How could I not go and see this? You're right: the fact that this movie's based on something real makes it so much scarier - and not just Paranormal Activity scary. I actually checked out Ed and Lorraine Warren on Wikipedia, and it sounds like the solved some pretty weird cases. I'm so glad The Conjuring lived up to your expectations. Now I just have to build up some courage to go watch this, hopefully with some friends. ;) Wonderful review, Becca!

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    1. Definitely go watch it! Unlike bad horror films, this one has a great plot and even better acting :D

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  5. Yay! I'm glad to hear that this is one of the good horror movies out there. I watched The Purge, but it was SO disappointing because of the lack of scarce factor it had. Hopefully The Conjuring will be better! :D

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    1. OMG, THE PURGE!! That was horrible! So disappointing, I agree. There was like 2 action scenes in the entire film. Major letdown. The Conjuring is ten times better!

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  6. I'm a huge wimp when it comes to scary movies so I do think I'll pass on this one. I do know people who love them and I am so going to say this one was highly recommended!

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    1. Thanks Melissa! Horror movies are definitely not for everyone :)

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  7. I was just thinking of seeing this movie with my friend but thought it wouldn't be that scary! I'm so glad you gave it a good rating. LOL thanks, for not putting the doll picture in because they seriously terrify me as well. Although I can't help myself and will probably look anyway. Sounds like this isn't one to miss! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's definitely worth seeing in theaters! The plot is so good. Although my 89-year-old grandpa hated it. Not sure why though, but he's a big cinephile, so maybe there was no cinematic "merit" or something. But I think it's worth it :D

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  8. CREEPY DOLL IS CREEPY. O.O

    I've recently become a horror flick fan. I haven't seen very many of them though because I don't have any friends that enjoy them. My brother and I have watched a few together though! I REALLY want to see this one, especially now that I know a little bit more about it and the backstory. Thanks for the awesome review! :D

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

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    1. You must see this one then :D It's definitely worth it!!!

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  9. I lived not far from the warrens in Milford, CT and have been on private tours of there basement/museum . I have seen the Annabelle doll up close. Its creepy. whats more creepy is all the Satanic Blair witch looking items they have pulled out of the woods of Thomaston, CT . From what they told me there is some Satanist creep in a cloak that will just appear next to you as you walk along the forest paths. I have lived in CT for forty years. Lorraine warren lives in Monroe,CT very near where the sandy hook school shootings took place. There are a few more story's that the warrens were involved with that people might not know a bought. Before I tell you more I would like to say I have defiantly seen ghosts and I have some EVPs and Orb photos so I'm a believer but I am also some what skeptic of the warrens. Try to look for info on ( Lindley st.Bridgeport, CT 1975). The police were sent to this home by the bus load. All kinds of Police testimonials. My old boss was in the same class as the girl that this all revolved around. Another crazy story happened on Lafayette Street Milford, CT. I cant find anything on this one on Google but I know the people it happened to and The warrens confirmed it for me. I now live in Prospect, CT not far from Cheshire home invasion I'm sure you all remember because it was world news. and to top it all off I just realized a few months ago That I live 15 min from the house in southington CT, The famous "haunting in Connecticut" Dam I think its time to move cause im feeling CT is just Wacked.

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