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With virtually no sex, no gore and no cursing The Conjuring earns its R-rating on scares alone.
thejoshl17 July 2013
Who would've guessed that the director of Saw would end up being the most inventive horror filmmaker working in the industry? James Wan brilliantly takes us back to the retro days of horror, delivering an extremely stylistic, visually striking horror film that stands tall amongst the classics. With virtually no sex, no gore and no cursing The Conjuring earns its R-rating on scares alone.

Set in 1971, The Conjuring focuses on the married paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, who lecture at colleges across the US on all the interesting cases they come across. Just as they're thinking of retirement cue the Perron family; parents Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn (Lili Taylor) are scared for their lives and the lives of their 5 daughters claiming there is something evil in their now Rhode Island home. It doesn't take long for the Warrens to discover that the Perron's are being tormented by something supernatural, but what is it, and what does it want?

In short: The Conjuring is the most terrifying film I've ever seen. Trying to erase his name from the "torture porn" crowd has proved difficult for the director of Saw, however without a doubt he's finally done it. On looks alone this movie should be a PG movie, which would normally be frowned upon by the horror junkies, but despite having no sex, no gore and no swearing, James Wan's latest film has been slapped with an R rating anyway. If you're wondering how frightening it actually is I think the MPAA has spoken on its behalf.

Most horror films these days climax somewhere in the middle; and in turn everything that follows doesn't really have the same affect. In The Conjuring there is comic relief brilliantly placed throughout to bring you down from your own climax so they get another chance to build your fear up and startle you again. Wan understands the psychology behind tension and builds suspense through mere scene construction.

While obviously taking notes from the Exorcist and The Amityville Horror, the inspiration for this film derives from real case files from the Warren's, which is still their most famous case to date. Straying away from the ironic style made famous by The Cabin In The Woods, nothing on the surface of this story seems inventive, but I assure you the way in which this film works makes it one of the most creative films in recent memory. One thing I've always loved about James Wan is how he manages to take something so unoriginal, like the haunted-house- possession story in this case, and shows it to us like we've never seen it before.

The scares, pacing, sound design and camera work can only be described as precise. Together James Wan and cinematographer John Leonetti (responsible for the look of Insidious as well) give us a fresh visual style that, unlike most horror films, include a lot of wide shots AND movement. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, and not relying on shaky cam for its realism leaves a rather unique feel to the movie, separating it visually from any other movie you can narratively relate this to.

One issue I've always had with recent films in the genre was that they revealed the demons too much. Insidious and Sinister are examples where they hooked me to the story and then showed me too much. Fear of the unknown is the greatest thing a horror filmmaker has on its audience and Wan has definitely learned from Insidious. In The Conjuring the apparitions aren't revealed to the audience until way late, and even then they're far away or out of focus. Letting us use our imagination is what makes this film truly horrifying, and I think horror filmmakers should be taking notes from Mr. Wan.

This film is everything I wanted it to be and more, my only complaint about the movie isn't even something wrong with the film. Once again marketing has screwed us over and the trailer for The Conjuring reveals way too many of the scares. I avoided most of the trailers for this movie on command from James Wan's twitter account but it's hard to miss TV spots. I wish I went into this with a fresh mind so if you still haven't seen the trailer and want to see this film, please stay away from any of the marketing!

Ultimately the overall production value allows The Conjuring to stand out in an otherwise rotting genre. The acting is impressive, the practical effects are perfect and the classic 70s feel Wan was going for make for a great time at the movies. This is the first must-see film of the summer.

Our Rating: 9.0/10

Let me know on Twitter @thejoshl what you thought of The Conjuring!
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New life breathed into a classic sub-genre
mungflesh30 June 2013
"Don't summon the devil, don't call the priest ..."

I was one of a lucky few to have seen The Conjuring at a preview screening for FrightFest 2013.

I went in totally cold, not having seen a trailer, nor knowing anything about the story or plot and it turned out to be one of the best scary horror movies I have ever seen.

The Conjuring is a nail-biting, hiding-behind-hands movie. If you've been disappointed with the likes of Paranormal Acivity and Insidious, this one is likely to deliver in areas where they failed.

It tells the supposedly true story of two paranormal investigators, who aim to rid families and properties of their suspected supernatural visitations, either by disproving them (if they turn out to be just creaky floorboards or slamming doors) or tackling them head-on if not. A leap of faith is required to buy into this theme but if you're okay with it, then the movies plays out pretty well within its genre confines.

The particular incident they are brought in to deal with is described as surrounding a spirit 'so malevolent' it was hidden from the public until only now. In fairly Amityville-like circumstances, a family move into a new house and discover the basement is sealed; boarded-up behind a doorway.

It's not at all surprising what follows, once they decide to take a look in the basement but it is surprising how James Wan has managed to take such a tired theme of haunting and possession and revive it so convincingly.

I am no stranger to these kind of movies but this one truly tops them all for tension and terror. I really enjoyed Sinister recently, which I found to be equally as scary but it lost its way a bit towards the end, whereas The Conjuring keeps tempo and has a fairly satisfying conclusion.

I particularly liked the way the film took a turn for the comical somewhere in the middle, only for perhaps five minutes, then came back firing on all cylinders as it headed to the finale. If this was intentional, to lure us into a false sense of security, it worked beautifully.

If you're the type to poo-poo this genre in general, I can't see you suddenly being converted to a believer but, if you enjoy classic horror like The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, I can almost guarantee The Conjuring won't disappoint.
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By far one of the best horror movies I've seen in a while.
skeletonman1319 July 2013
I'm an avid horror fan. Lately I've been thinking there isn't much that can scare me (though Sinister got under my skin). I appreciate James Wan's films, I love the first Saw, Insidious was a damn good modern ghost story, but like all reviews have stated for it, the movie kinda loses it's momentum in the final act.

The Conjuring is better, scarier, and more tense than Insidious. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's one of the best horror movies of the last 5 or 10 years. It goes back to the classic rule of horror film making, never show the bad guy fully to your audience. Plus this movie knows suspense, I tell you, I almost threw a water bottle at the screen from sheer terror once the scare finally happened. There are no fake jump scares, the movie earned an R rating without any blood, sex, or profanity, it's all from the terror that this movie builds upon.

Not only is the movie scary, but as a film itself, it's almost a masterpiece. The script, acting, direction, style, tone, etc were all simply top notch. Wan's camera-work here is by far his best out of any of his movies. The choice to set the movie in the 70s was a stroke of genius as it feels so authentic and all the more real. If this story were set in the present, it simply wouldn't be as a effective or scary. The 70s style film making, costuming, and hair styling are a great throwback to likes of The Exorcist & The Amityville Horror.

Though there are a few (extremely minor) flaws, such are length, repetitiveness, and a resolution that happens way too fast. I don't care, every horror movie (or movie in general) has it's flaws. There will never be a perfect horror movie, if there is one, I haven't seen it yet. But all I know is James Wan's The Conjuring is one of the best horror movies I've seen in a long time, and it's been a really long time that a movie has scared me this badly.

10/10 Don't miss this one, it's an amazing theater viewing experience.
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It's November 1st, 1971, I'm sitting here with Carolyn Perron, who with her family, has been experiencing supernatural occurrences.
Spikeopath16 June 2014
The key with The Conjuring is not that it has freshness on its side, as evidenced by the ream of horror fans arguing on internet sites about "nothing new on the table" , but while those fans will be going hungry for a very, very long time, The Conjuring does everything right for the splinter of horror it deals with.

There's a lot to admire about a horror film that in this day and age stands tall and proud against the ream of remakes, sequels and teen friendly slashers that "haunt" the multiplexes with all too much frequency these days. Free of gore and sex, this was automatically going to alienate a good portion of the lustful members of the horror fan base, but for those who like their horror served with appetising scares and a cauldron of suspense, then this delivers plenty to your particular table.

Forget the "based on a true story" tag, since it's kind of irrelevant in this new technological age, it's a selling gimmick that actually means "this story might be true and we might have played with it a bit". Regardless of hoax charges and embellishments, just buy into the premise, commit to it as a scary story in the same way as director James Wan has, for then the rewards are there for the compliant.

Story essentially is based around an investigation in the early seventies by paranormal specialists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who aided the Perron family as they were victims of dreadful supernatural events at their Rhode Island home. Wan builds it deftly, letting us into the Perron families lives as they move into what they believe to be a dream home. Then things start to happen, but again Wan builds it in slow instances, creating a palpable sense of dread, his camera work intelligent. So when the big moments come they have maximum impact and have us also yearning for the Warren's to get involved.

There is no over killing of the boo-jump scares, they are placed with care and marry up superbly with the mounting tension. Naturally all the cliché conventions of the haunted house movie are here, strange smells, creaky doors, ominous cellar and etc, yet these are supplemented with Wan's talented knack for a good scare and a very effective production design. From mysterious bruises and literal leg pulls – breath holding games of hide and seek – to bona fide pant soiling moments, The Conjuring is a lesson in sustained unease until the big finale is unleashed.

The script is devoid of cheese and pointless filler, itself refreshing in a horror sub-genre that suffers often with these problems. Joseph Bishara's musical score is an absolute nerve shredder, and again it's a refreshing accompaniment because it doesn't resort to telegraphed shrieks to tell us to be afraid, it never overwhelms a scene. John Leonetti's cinematography has Gothic textures, both in the house and outside of the lakeside farmhouse, while the strong lead cast of Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston come up trumps for sure.

Met with critical and box office success, The Conjuring justifies its reputation as a superb haunted house movie. 9/10
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James Wan at his best
R-P-McMurphy6 July 2013
"The Conjuring" is a high class horror film, its hard not to be scared by it, we care for the characters and the story is compelling enough to make you feel interested the whole time.

Based on true life events, Ed and Lorraine Warren are paranormal investigators set to help a family terrorized by a demon, said to be one of the most terrifying cases of their lives which they hadn't shared with anyone...until now.

First of all, I loved that it takes place in the 70's, I agree completely with director James Wan's point of view that it is almost impossible to make a horror film set in the present. For example, the teenage daughters of the haunted family would be taking pictures of the demons with their iphones and would be posting them on posting them on instagram, basically the demons would turn into the victims and the humans would be the bad guys.

The movie isn't perfect though, there are a few plot holes in it, but still it does have some great scares in it that had me jumping out my seat and I liked the way it builds up tension and lets us know the characters before it starts with all the craziness. Not only is the movie set in the 70's, but it also has the feel of a 70's horror film, with slow zooms and filming styles you wouldn't expect from a modern movie. I really believe James Wan has outdone himself with this movie, I'll even go so far to calling it the scariest movie I've seen in my life. Thank you James Wan for this great movie and good luck with Fast & Furious 7.

I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a great horror film, I guess it gives the feeling audiences must have felt when watching "The Exorcist", "Don't Look Now", or Poltergeist" for the first time.
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An instant gem among the classic horror titles.
chapy00425 June 2013
I got a chance to see this movie at the film festival, and boy was I TERRifically surprised! James Wan's 'The Conjuring' is one of those rare gems in the horror industry that finds a spot beside the classic titles of horror, 'The Shining', 'Poltergeist', and 'The Exorcist' due to James Wan's ability to balance an atmospheric dreadful tale involving wonderfully crafted characters with a haunted house that had my palms sweating and my heart pounding during some of the most horrifying moments (There are a few of those; make sure you empty your bladder BEFORE entering the theater).

The things that make 'The Shining', 'Poltergeist', and 'The Exorcist' good is that if the editor were to chop out all the jump-scares and those sequences that fry an image into your brain, you would still have a moody, edgy story that makes you sympathies for the characters and their struggle. This is what Wan does right in this film, and it's then that you realize horror is more than what pops out at you, or what makes you scream. Rather, it's that feeling of dread you get that escalates into sheer terror and suspense, aided by shocking scares.

BUT WAIT! All this not to say 'The Conjuring' doesn't have its share of frightening visuals and pee-your-pants moments; believe me when I say I also rank this as one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. Yet, Wan realizes here that jump scares aren't what moves a story along, but what defines that classic image everyone gets in their head when someone talks about a certain horror movie that frightened them the most, kind of like a celebrity's autograph in the corner of a huge poster of their face.

All of this hence to say, "The Conjuring" is an exceptional piece of film that pulls all the right stops to frighten the audience, leaving a lasting impression on your mind as well the recently tired genre of horror.

Movie Score: 10/10!
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This movie is amazing
monkeybrainjam9 June 2013
Just saw it yesterday in Nocturna Fim Festival. It was an outstanding film. So well done, scripted and acted. The movie doesn't have any mercy on the audience and it's so disturbing you won't believe until you see.

I'm not gonna enter in details or spoilers, just gonna let you now it a movie that gonna stay for you for a while after you see it. It also opens a door for becoming quite a paranormal investigator myself, looking up for all the details mentioned in the movie, and getting amazed by it' accuracy.

This film it's made to become a new classic in the horror genre, not only because it's quality, but because it's fright factor.

The first half of the movie it's paced down, let you know and love the characters. but the second half! oh boy! it's so damn chilling it will keep you gasping and crawling your hands.

Very well done
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Holy F*** is all people with me said while watching it throughout.
a-andrew90015 July 2013
This film was easily one of the scariest films of the decade, complete with a horror package that will make even those new to horror love it, if they are a fan of fear that is. This movie had every guy in the group at the edge of their seats with their was an intense experience that cannot be missed in theatres. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmega hold their own as the Perron's and EVERY SINGLE child actor owned the screen. All acting was top notch and gave the viewer a throwback to original days of good horror, not the stuff we've seen nowadays. Time can only tell when a movie like this will come out again but we know now that James Wan is one of the best horror directors of our time.
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Bringing Back The Terror
Mek Torres19 August 2013
The Conjuring claims to be based on a true story about one of the Warrens' paranormal investigations. At this point, that fact doesn't quite matter, especially when this is mostly designed as a horror movie. And as a horror movie, its job is to offer real terror and take any ghostly elements seriously. The film isn't actually trying to give newer scares. This is old school stuff, but good old school horror movie stuff. This is the kind that gets to do more than pull off another jump scare trick. Another benefit the movie got is its director, James Wan, who delivers a crafty storytelling. The Conjuring is not terribly innovative, but I don't think it needed to. It's the execution that keeps everything so gripping, and I think we needed that in this suffering era of the genre.

The story is actually more than the haunting of the Perrons. The first act juxtaposed between their situation and the life of the Warrens. The Warrens side is a fascinating little exposition of their daily life and job, while the Perrons are introduced like any typical horror film that has a haunted house and family in it, the danger is slow burn until they get to realize they needed help. What makes this somewhat different from those clichés is we are also supposed to root and care for the investigators, like we do not want them to be harm by the spirits as well. For that, the tension becomes much effective.

Even at the less scary scenes, the film is also interesting. And yes, all the characters are worth rooting for. The major ones get their own stories told at the beginning and some flashbacks in the middle of the mystery. The performances are pretty enjoyable as they take the viewers into the characters' mind. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are excellent at exploring their roles and whatever they do are totally intriguing. Lili Taylor is engaging enough for shifting her character's innocence to something terrifying.

Most of the credit goes to director James Wan who makes it all compelling. We already accepted that jump scares are inevitable to our modern horror movies, but the better scares go when it shows its campiness, like the creepy update of the Annabelle doll, and some demonic masks and makeup. They are unlike to today's tricks that depend on gore and repetitive noise. There is also genuine terror can be felt in the quiet scenes. The finale is kind of ridiculous, but it's filled with energetic action which makes the ride even much fun. Apart from the scary stuff, the film continues to employ its style that serves a lot of magnificent shots. This could be one of the best looking movies I've seen this year. The music score brings sorts of good chills.

The Conjuring is no groundbreaker, but the film is best at recapturing the classic horror. Extra merit is fleshing out and adding depth to the story which made the ghost hunting investigation more thrilling. The craft is amazing and the performances are terrific. I think it has most of the things that lack in our horror films today; curiously setting the pieces together, relateable characters, good creeps, and full insanity. The Conjuring isn't meant to change the game, but because of the filmmakers' ambition and love for the genre, it is a marvelous experience.
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A properly scary ghost story
Red-Barracuda28 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This latest movie from Saw director James Wan goes down a fairly traditional haunted house film route. In it, a regular family move into a new home and are immediately terrorised by a malevolent ghost; a married couple who specialise in dealing with paranormal activity are called in to help exorcise the evil spirit. It was seemingly based on a true story. From the above synopsis you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a re-tread of the likes of The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist. And I suppose in many ways you would be correct as the influence of these types of films is pretty evident. But that would only be half the story because The Conjuring is a film that definitely stands up on its own right and for my money is one of the very best horror films of the last few years. The chief reason for this is simply that at times it is very scary indeed. It's not a graphic horror film at all; it relies on the fear of the unknown and the unseen. It combines lots of the things that make traditional ghost stories so sinister – an old house, a hidden room, a witch, tragic histories, possession, creepy old children's toys and, of course, well-placed jump scares. This movie has all of these elements and uses them well. It doesn't necessarily bring a lot of new things to the genre but what it does do is expertly arrange several traditional ideas into a very satisfying whole.

On top of all this, it's a very well-acted affair. Particularly impressive are Vera (The Departed) Farmiga and Patrick (Hard Candy) Wilson who play the paranormal experts. They have a definite chemistry with one-and-other and bring a solid believability to their characters. And pleasingly they play things completely straight. Also of interest is the time period. Seeing as this is based around true events, its set in 1971. As well as being more authentic to the story, this has the added benefit of having a retro feel that harks back to the classic 70's American horror movies in which it derives much of its influence. And there is something refreshing in immersing yourself in a world without mobile phones and tweeting; a world without such things seems to work better as far as traditional haunted house stories go.

Overall, this is an excellent horror film. If I had to criticise it in one way it would simply be that the intense finale wasn't as creepy as the build-up. The reason for that is really down to the fact that the slower build-up allows for moments that hit you out of left-field from nowhere and the quieter more deliberately paced sequences can be constructed up to a real genuine fright scene. By the end we know the source of the haunting and we are constantly tensed up during the final encounter meaning it doesn't have the same impact as the earlier scary moments. But I have to emphasise that this is really a very minor point and I really highly recommend The Conjuring to horror fans and more specifically those who like films about ghosts. Great stuff.
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A Gripping, Tense and Overall Masterful Genre Revival
Simon_Says_Movies22 July 2013
Like comedy, the horror genre can be a very subjective beast, finding or missing its mark as much do to its craft and execution as it does the particular individual who plops themselves into a theater seat. If something isn't scary to someone – someone who earnestly believes that of course – then a fright flick has failed at its core intent. Then we have something like James Wan's The Conjuring, an artful, confident throwback that succeeds in maintaining a high tensile level of pressure on our senses, crafting vital jump scares, a potent human element and all encompassing technical prowess. This is the type of brave, but stripped down horror filmmaking that forces you to analyze other elements besides just the full effectiveness of its frightening intent. Plus it's scary as hell.

The Conjuring completes a modern supernatural horror film trifecta started with Wan's own Insidious in 2010 and bridged by last year's unsettling Sinister. With these films the genre has proved that this is far from a dead, now inherently clichéd area of cinema and this effort is perhaps the best of all three. After breaking onto the scene in a big way with the trend setting Saw, the director took a bit of creative detour in the eyes of most with revenge thriller Death Sentence and supernatural doll flick Dead Silence (which is vastly underrated by the way) before rebounding with the aforementioned Insidious. For The Conjuring it seems Wan has taken everything he's learned – congealing everything he's found to be effective – and assembled them exquisitely and with ample new flare to boot.

The Conjuring pulls its inspiration from a case file of famed demonologists and paranormal investigators the Warrens, the husband and wife team who's other journeys inspired films such as The Amityville Horror. Here they are played respectively by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who are now both genre regulars with roles in Insidious and the upcoming Chapter 2 due this year for the gentleman and Orphan and television's Psycho prequel Bates Motel for Farmiga. We've all seen the painful trope of priests, exorcists, psychics and every nut-job in between showing up at the eleventh hour to save a haunted family but the way they're approached in The Conjuring stands as one of the film's greatest strengths.

Though it's something that should be completely obvious out of the gate (but still something those inspired by the Warren's stories forget) this is just as much their story as those experiencing the phenomena. In giving nearly as much screen time to this duo as it does the Perron's (a seven family troop lead by actors Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor and their five daughters) we grow and involve with these nine individuals so when things get terrifying we not only feel just as much for everyone on screen but everyone gets a satisfying arc. It's something so rare in most horror films. Though this dynamic is certainly not presented through these two separate camps – the fearful and the experts – but the men bond over their love of cars and their wives and the women over the unfathomable: harm befalling their children. It's a satisfying an utterly untapped approach for the genre.

But "wait, wait" you proclaim "this is a horror movie after all, stop talking about the little girls and get to the scares!" Graciously, somewhat rude reader. The Conjuring is creepy, intermittently nightmarish, tense, gross, unsettling, and in its purest form, scary. This is the type of film that dares you not to hug yourself or laugh nervously in the hopes you deflect some iota of the sensation of primal fear. But these emotions are never extracted in a manipulative fashion and the jump scares are orchestrated effectively through physical objects falling, bumping, banging and generally causing off-putting noises, not blaring, out of context musical chords.

The camera work is also fantastic employing every angle imaginable and even some very impressive point of view and upside-down-spin shots. It's easily Wan's best directed effort to date but never one that lets its style eclipse the mood. Similarly his use of sound both in the score (which utilizes your average brooding options as well as sharp, grating notes that call back to horror of days gone by) and practical noises such as a strained rope swinging or a door slamming shut. Again, it all adds to the experience and in eventually pulling of the major frights.

Like most fare of this nature, the restrained tension does take a bit of a hit heading into the finale, as subtlety is sacrificed for more overt horror to resolve the story. Thankfully this change in approach is handled with just as much aplomb and also manages to deliver one of the most effective exorcism sequences in recent memory – a victory made all the more notable thanks to the generally overexposed and silly nature of that staple. It's not the perfect ending that the previous acts demanded but one that by no means insults the audience and still remains scary (if in a more upfront manner).

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay The Conjuring is that it actually deserves a sequel. There are tales of the Warrens left to tell and the acting is uniformly strong enough that revisiting these characters would be more a treat then a chore. It takes a skillful filmmaker to take well worn themes and approaches (while avoiding gore and a high body count to boot) and make them seem as original as ever. Coming from a huge horror buff and one that experiences more disappointments then the average soul can handle, I can earnestly say The Conjuring is one of the best ever and what can serve as a fantastic induction into the genre for the uninitiated.
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Generic, clichéd cinema. Nothing new here.
Danae Gordon29 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Don't let the rave reviews fool you. I regretfully made that mistake, as I did with The Cabin in the Woods as well. You can't trust IMDb reviews nowadays.

Also don't believe the people telling you that this movie strays from the typical horror film formula, or that it's any better than other horror films of today. Sure there's no gore, no nudity, no profanity... but so what? I see that same statement made in every horror movie review I read. The thing is... most horror films AREN'T filled with gore and nudity, and haven't been that way since the 80s. It's nothing new and it doesn't make this movie special.

By no means is this film deserving of such rave reviews. I'd give it a four out of ten at best. It was entertaining and the cinematography was great, but it's lacking in all other aspects.

This genre has been done to death. I mean honestly... you'll find every ghost story cliché you can think of right here in this film. If that's what you're looking for, by all means, watch the movie. Be my guest. But if you're looking for something new, fresh, and genuinely scary... The Conjuring isn't what you're after.

The amount of clichés is laughable. Off the top of my head, this film contains:

A typical old haunted house, suspenseful music leading up to disappointing jump-scares, loud banging noises, creaky doors, creepy dolls, creepy little girls, doors opening by themselves, objects flying around the room, stupid characters making stupid choices, minimal lighting and flickering lights, bad costume make-up, humorous whispering and 'demonic' voices.

I've seen it all before. Over and over and over again. When will film- makers dare to be different? When will they finally stray from the typical horror movie formula? Critics will tell you to see this movie for its nostalgic essence... I'm sorry, but nostalgic value is no excuse to blatantly copy ideas from classic filmmakers.

I'll admit that the suspense frightened me. I was expecting something shocking to appear on the screen any minute. The score was great and very atmospheric, but unfortunately, it all built up to nothing. The jump-scares, badly made-up faces and loud banging noises were laughable.

And may I ask why Reagan from The Exorcist was in this film? One of the "spooks" was literally a carbon copy of her. This movie was nothing but a copy of a copy of a copy.

And what was with that scene with the cameraman and one of the daughters? They stared at each other and flirted a bit, as if something was going to blossom between them... but nothing came of it. Pointless.

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Why Did I Fall For The Trap?
Duveteux7 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I always do this. I see a film get 10 out of 10 and people rave about it being terrifying and I get my hopes up like maybe this will be completely different to what's out there right now. Maybe it will be a good ghost story, a good classic horror I'll lose sleep over or will repeat itself in my mind on the night bus home until I become paranoid of every dark figure on the street.

I remember the day I came home on a night bus scared to look out of the window cause even my own reflection might change into the face of another! You know what? It's been so long since that day I don't remember what that feels like anymore.

It's OK, I'll give it 6 out of 10. The last half an hour is better than the first hour. There's nothing in it we haven't seen before in the past few years.

I don't see the point of the doll possessed by a demon when it does nothing scary and is far too farcical to be considered scary. A creepy doll could easily be a simple porcelain doll with blank expression and vacant eyes staring. Remember when a room full of perfectly ordinary ornate dolls sounded ominous? It doesn't have to be a clown-like ventriloquist dummy with scars that doesn't even look convincingly like it was ever a child's toy but destined to be a demon conduit.

Maybe the doll was the idea of the person involved with the making of Saw. Cause it seems like it was too similar in its clownishness.

I'm ignoring the fact this is "based on a true story" by the way. Maybe the doll was real and did look exactly like that. Maybe everything in the film is spot on and why should they bend the truth to appease my want for seeing a horror movie that's different to others on offer out there? Fair enough! Coming from the people who told us absolutely everything in the Amityville Horror was true, though... I'm inclined to believe they've bent the truth somewhat and could have done more to make me scared of my own shadow.

The only good bits reminded me of other films, the crazy old witch ghost who vomits blood into the woman's mouth is suspiciously similar to the old bat from Drag me to Hell, which once again has been done - IF it hadn't been done it would have been a good bit, but because I can only think of something else when I see it...nah.

I'm fed up with them trying ghost stories and possession horror. Please find a new way to try and scare me because you only seem to be throwing the same things at me. It's like a ghost jumping out at me and hiding back away in the same spot for the next time I come in because it thinks "it worked once, so this must be the only way to do it". Only the first time will make me jump. Eventually it just becomes tedious.
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Super overrated lame movie with a plot you have probably seen a hundred other versions
bigchunto119 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of, the whole hype about the "doll" has nothing to do with the whole plot of the haunted house the family just moved in. Which just imply the hype about stories based on somewhat real events are just mere marketing purposes; which work out really well considering the high rating this movie gets.

Hearing all the reviews saying scares that makes them jump off their seats are just laughable and pathetic at the same time. I was forcing myself to go through the whole slow and uninteresting plot till the end hoping to have just a slight goosebumps, only to get cheesy wuss "finale".

There are easily hundreds of other demonic possessions, haunted house and witchcraft been done before; most of them easily are more convincing than this piece of crap.

My advice is, PASS this crap. It definitely do not worth your 2 hours of your time, go for other classic or Asian horror instead. The only jump you get from watching this movie is like jumping off your seat to head for the exit.
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Paranormal "Supers" And Vatican-Approved Exorcisms
Dalbert Pringle9 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Yep! This is the "Con"-juring, alright!

And, unless you're a gullible, Catholic-minded, wiener-head (Oops! Sorry!), then don't ever believe in this film's pious propaganda and allow it to "con" you into thinking that its story was anything else but a barefaced pack of lies. 'Cause that's all that it was..... (Based on a true story? Ha! Spare me!)

And, if you view holy sanctimony in a similar way as I do, then The Conjuring will surely leave you more than just a little tiffed by its completely demented, over-the-top exorcism-rubbish, as well as its totally insulting, self-righteous, religious overtones..... (This film's final mini-sermon on religious faith was truly despicable beyond words)

When it came to its scare-tactics - From one utterly predictable "thud & creak" sequence to the next (ho-hum!), The Conjuring's story whole-heartedly gave complete license over to those of the Catholic faith and permitted these saintly ones to claim "hauntings" as being "their" territory, and their territory alone. (Yeah! So, like, lay off, you F.N. heathens!)

In The Conjuring's story - Ed & Lorraine are 2 real goody-goody, paranormal "Supers" who "faith"-fully get down to yet another performance of a Vatican-approved exorcism. And, together, this dynamic-duo work like-the-devil to rid the plagued Perron home of its diabolically demonic possession.

If you ask me, I thought that "Supers" Ed & Lorraine were about as hilariously insincere and unconvincing as you could possibly imagine.

Like, I really wonder how much money these 2 charlatans-for-god charged for their "services" as frickin' ghost-busters. You certainly can't expect me to believe for a minute that they actually offered their "super"-natural assistance out of the sheer kindness of their Catholic-hearts and that they received no monetary gain out of it.

And, besides all of that, I certainly thought that it was just a little too convenient (and not to mention, a total "blessing-from-above") that the Warrens just happened to live but a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from the Perrons.

It really killed me when paranormal "Super", Lorraine fell through the false wall on the 2nd floor of the Peron's house. And from there she went crash-banging down, about 30 feet, to the basement's hard, concrete floor without sustaining any real injuries to speak of.... Wow!..... (Now you know why I call her & Ed "Supers"!)

All-in-all - The Conjuring was an ultimate mess of exorcism-movie clichés that sucked to heaven and hell, and beyond. And after you see the utter nonsense that this film expects one to swallow and accept at face value, I guarantee that it'll make a true disbeliever out of you, as it did me.

P.S. - I thought that this film's opening sequence with the ugly "Annabellle" doll to be one of the most absolutely under-handed bits of sucker-bait ever foisted on a movie-audience, ever.
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The only lesson to take from The Conjuring is never to trust "Amityville Real Estate"
Likes_Ninjas9014 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The only lesson to take from The Conjuring is never to trust "Amityville Real Estate". This terribly cliché and derivative haunted house movie is based on a supposedly true story. It's from the archives of Ed Warren and his wife Lorraine, two demonologists and paranormal investigators. If you believe this tosh you'll also believe they have seen vampires, werewolves and performed exorcisms. They did establish a legitimate organisation in 1952 called "The New England Society for Psychic Research". For all of its scientific breakthroughs involving vampires, this work has never prevented them from earning good dollars. After being discharged from the Second World War, Ed attended art school and painted houses that he said were haunted and then sold them.

One of their most famous cases was the Amityville story. In 1974 Ronald DeFeo shot his six family members to death as they lay asleep in their beds in a property in Amityville, Long Island. The following year, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the same house and claimed it was haunted. Ed and Lorraine were the lead paranormal investigators. Despite entire books debunking the supernatural aspect of the case, calling it a hoax, the Warrens became consultants on the terrible film adaptation four years later. It was followed by ten follow-up films, including a remake and a new entry releasing this year. Though they would deny it, the Warrens are also religiously motivated. They were devout Catholics and on one of their websites, Warren is quoted as saying: "And I know that Biblical beliefs are facts because I've seen and I've heard and I've felt all the things that it talks about." I don't know if they were fundamentalists, but that's how they're represented in The Conjuring.

There is a fascinating biopic to be made out of the lives of the Warrens but that would be overreaching for the film's director James Wan. Malaysian born but Australian-raised, he has failed to match his mega hit Saw, the start of a sadistic, repugnant series that led to the rise and fall of the torture porn sub-genre He then retreated from the excessive gore and faux-moral ethics to Insidious: a lousy haunted house movie that wasn't scary in the slightest. So rarely does The Conjuring divert from Insidious in story and quality that it could be regarded as a remake. The film is set in 1971 and like Amityville Horror and Insidious it involves a couple (played by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) and their children moving into a two-story house by the lake, and are terrorized by strange noises, smells, creaking doors and more violent actions, like people being flung across the room. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga feature as Ed and Lorraine, and their investigation uncovers a history of witches, demon possession and human sacrifice that overshadows a numbingly repetitive main story of thumps, creaks and uncountable clichés.

One of the failures of the script by Chad and Carey Hayes and Wan's direction is that they have no sense of "the uncanny". In his essay "The Uncanny", Freud refers to the German word "unheimlich", which he says is the opposite of "heimlich" (homely), and therefore the contrary of what is familiar. Similarly, he argues the uncanny is a result of "intellectual uncertainty", meaning something uncanny can be one that a person is unfamiliar with and has not explored yet. There is nothing unfamiliar or uncanny in The Conjuring. By resembling other fictional horror movies, it diminishes the authenticity of the real case. The horror is merely a boring retread of genre conventions and it fails to subvert these tired staples.

The actors are confined to playing underwritten, stock characters in a two-story house, pitched on a grey block of land, with overgrown trees and too many banging doors. Wan loves Amityville but its outright plagiarism that the architecture of the house is identical. It also isn't scary in 2013 to have creaking doors and floorboards, and characters dumb enough to follow noises coming from dank basements and closets - it just shows a depressing lack of ingenuity. Long shots of eerie doorways telegraph potential big scares and are followed repeatedly by loud banging noises. If Wan had any subtlety as a filmmaker he would know horror is dependent on the imagination, not how loud you can make a film.

The Conjuring shares an uncomfortably firm relationship with archaic religious practices too. There are obvious iconographic references to films like The Exorcist and The Birds. However, the film's climax in a basement involving an exorcism isn't an extension of the horror but in the eyes of the film a probable means of healing. The self-belief in this brand of silly, fundamentalist exploitation is also compounded through laughable dialogue such as: "God brought us here for a reason", and "Religious icons p*ss them off". Yet if anyone takes this bunkum seriously they will be too young to remember the likes of The Exorcist and Amityville. Bloodless, tired and overly familiar, The Conjuring was a story not worth telling again but that could be the fault of its origins, and not just the derivative style chosen by its inexperienced director.
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Did i see the same movie as everyone else?
sccrwsmr20 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Conjuring is not nearly as bad as it could have been, it did have some pretty solid jump scares and every actor could hold their own on screen. However; This movie had way too much going on, there were witches, evil dolls, possession, demons, psychic visions, etc. Waiting for each of the sub plots to come to their epic conclusion felt like watching paint dry as the scenario breaks into even smaller pieces and more sub plots appear. The ending didn't feel like an effective pay off at all, and call me simple but i prefer a bit of grisly violence in my horror movies which this movie was devoid of.

Not to mention the ghosts were not scary looking in the least bit (with the exception of that damn doll) and they looked like they were ripped right out of insidious, which just takes away from the movie.

This movie is just jump scares irrelevant to the plot and a boring excuse to cash in out the success of insidious.
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An Excellent,Scary,Terrifying And Suspenseful Supernatural Horror Film. James Wan At His Best.
jcbutthead866 March 2014
The Conjuring is an excellent,scary and suspenseful Supernatural Horror film that combines amazing direction,a great cast,non-stop terror and a creepy,intense score elements that make The Conjuring a great Horror film and is James Wan at his best.

Based on a true story and set in 1971,The Conjuring tells the story of Carolyn and Roger Perron(Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston)who along with their five daughters have moved into a new house on the countryside of Rhode Island. While the Perron's are in their new house,the family discovers that the them and the house are being haunted by ghosts and evil spirits. With nowhere to turn,the Perron's ask for the help of Lorraine and Ed Warren(Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson),paranormal investigators to get rid of the evil spirits and save their family.

The Conjuring is an amazing and frightening Supernatural Horror film that right from the beginning puts viewers on edge giving people a scary and emotional experience that no one will ever forget. The Conjuring is also an old school Horror movie in the truest sense because it's a movie that takes us back to the Supernatural Horror films of the 1970s and 80s combining a ghost story with a demonic possession story mixing together and combining elements of classics such as The Shining(1980),Poltergeist(1982),The Haunting(1963)with The Exorcist(1973)and The Evil Dead(1982). And While The Conjuring doesn't nessarily reinvent the Supernatural Horror sub genre,the movie gives a fresh and entertaining take on the haunted house genre. Another thing the is old school about The Conjuring is the movie's scares and suspense which are effective and done with great timing and detail with intense build-up that grabs you by the throat. Director James Wan uses simple things to make the film creepy whether it's someone or something knocking on wood,moving doors,showing things from a distance giving viewers a sense of dread. The jump scares are not just in The Conjuring because it's a Horror movie but are in the film because they have meaning and power. Another thing that I love about The Conjuring is the way the movie uses atmosphere to make the movie scary using the darkness,haunting sounds and the characters reactions to the chaos going on all around which adds to the film's dark tone and the movie works greatly without blood and gore(although there is a couple of bloody moments in the film). Don't get me wrong while I love blood and gore in Horror movies,The Conjuring didn't need or require it because the whole film is about messing with you mentally than physically. You can almost say that The Conjuring is a continuation of James Wan's other haunted house movie before this one the terrific Insidious which shares some similarities with this film. At 112 minutes The Conjuring moves at a steady pace and there is never a dull moment and when watch the film you will be craving for more. One of the great things about The Conjuring is that this film is more of a character driven Horror movie like The Exorcist,Poltergeist or The Sixth Sense because with The Conjuring there is enough time and length for viewers to get to know the main characters in the Warren's and Parron's. While we don't get to know about the past history of the two couples but we see enough to feel sympathy for the Warren's and Parron's because when the scary stuff starts to happen we want them to survive. What makes the Warren's and Parron's great characters is that they don't feel like Slasher movie stock characters waiting to get killed off in the first 15 minutes but feel like real people dealing with a drastic situation. I love that the movie takes it's time with build-up not only with the scares and suspense but also with the characters which in my opinion makes the movie effective and makes The Conjuring a great and remarkable film. The ending of The Conjuring is terrific,scary and at the same time surprising because it's open ended leaving viewers with questions rather than answers.

The cast is outstanding. Vera Farminga and Patrick Wilson are excellent and memorable as Lorraine and Ed Warren,the paranormal investigators. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston are brilliant as Carolyn and Roger Parron,the couple who's house is haunted. Shanley Caswell(Andrea),Hayley McFarland(Nancy),Joey King(Christine),Mackenzie Foy(Cindy),Klya Deaver(April)and Sterling Jerins(Judy Warren)do wonderful jobs as the kids in the film. Shannon Kook(Drew)and John Brotherton(Brad)give good performances as well.

The direction by James Wan is brilliant and stylish,with Wan always moving the camera with tracking shots,hand-held movements and creative angles giving the movie a creepy and frightening atmosphere. Great job,Wan.

The score by Joseph Bishara is terrific,haunting and intense and matches the movie's scary energy. Memorable score,Bishara.

In final word,if you love Horror Films,Supernatural movies or James Wan,I highly suggest you see The Conjuring,an excellent,scary and suspenseful Horror film that is James Wong at his best. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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Cant believe, all this hype!
carolaleroux5523 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was done so poorly, i saw 12 people get up and walk out of the theater last night just got mad because they spent money to see the film, I on the other hand stayed to finish the movie because i was hoping it would get better but to my wonders eyes what happened??? it didn't get any better it got worse! and i say that with a capitol W. This movie was poorly written, Directed and the story was so slow and boring and whats up with the R-Rating? it doesn't deserve it, I've seen PG horror movies scarier then this piece of work. Don't get me wrong, I love the director of this film, he does wonderful work such pictures like Saw, and Insidious and Patrick Wilson stars in this picture and also was the father in Insidious, Part 2 by the way comes out on September 13th(Friday the 13th) which i hope ends up being better then this crap. but this movie wasn't all bad, the camera work was decent... and the cast was great and knowing that its all based on a true story gets your blood pumping. but all in all i didn't like the movie but thats just my opinion, hopefully everyone will see this movie for what it truly is just another B-movie horror flick. but that ends my review.. its just a movie and thats why i gave it a 3/10 rating.
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One of the Great horror movies.
robhartjr8 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
*Short Synopsis* We all know by now that this movie is based on true events. The film advertised how the family of the house kept quiet about the incidents for over 30 years because the public couldn't handle what happened. The movie is set in the 1970s when the family of a farmhouse begins experiencing paranormal events. The real life paranormal investigators Ed and Loraine Warren are called in to make sense of what is going on. Then the events become more intense and violent until the climatic conclusion.

This may sound like another typical ghost house plot, but this movie was so much more. I personally love James Wans work in the horror genre. I loved the original Saw, directed by him, and even some of the sequels which were not directed by him. I loved the intensely creepy movie "Dead Silence". I even liked his attempt at the thriller revenge film with "Death Sentence". Then he made a big comeback in the horror genre with the landmark film "Insidious" which terrified many, and made many think it was pretentious. The film was written by his friend Leigh Whannell, who also wrote and starred in Saw. It was polarized with great reviews and some negative reviews. But most great horror movies go through that type of reaction at the time of its release. Now it is considered a modern classic in the genre. It even has a sequel "Insidious Chapter 2" which is directed by Wan and again written by Whannell, so that seems legit! But before Insidious 2, James was rumored to direct another Horror movie. So then I began anticipating James Wans next movie. I heard about "The Conjuring" being in production, but that it wasn't being written by Whannell. I was slightly less interested at that point. Then the first teaser trailer came out. It was the perfect build up of tension similar to that of "Insidious" and some classic horror movies I will mention later. I wanted to see this movie. The official full length trailers were nice and creepy too. Now onto the review.

Not only is this a great horror movie, but it is a great movie in general. Many have compared parts of the film to "The Amityville Horror". Some have said it like it is a bad thing. But you have to remember that the investigators of this movie also investigated the real life Amityville house. The similarities are a nice touch in my opinion. But honestly, this movie makes Amityville look like a Disney movie. The characters in the movie are REAL. They make you care for them. You start to feel like these people are friends of yours or distant relatives while watching the movie. When things start to happen to them at night, you feel like you are experiencing it with them. This is something that is hard for a horror movie to do. Usually you just want to see the scary stuff happen to the people and watch certain characters die. The actors and actresses all do a wonderful and believable job. The music is very unsettling in a great horror movie way. This movie made me feel like a kid again being scared of the 'unknown' entities in the dark. Those are still creepy thoughts even as a grown up after watching a movie like this. There is creepy tension echoed throughout the film. The movie also manages to have some of the scariest images seen. When the apparitions finally reveal themselves, I started to cover my eyes like a child. There is something about the way James Wan directs these images. An image of an old woman ghost slowly floating over you. You have to see it to know exactly what I'm talking about. I honestly jumped in terror more than a few times. Something that rarely happens for me. There is even the typical James Wan aspect of the film featuring evil dolls. The first part of the movie has a lot of build up and some rather jumpy scary scenes. The final part of the movie is very intense with its scare value without turning into another mindless horror movie. Don't take your eyes off the screen or you'll miss some of the more subtle and creepy scary moments. There are seriously moments that will definitely keep children and some adults up at night. There is a perfectly set up scene involving a maid that is proof you can scare an audience without cutting someone up.

This movie will remind you of Insidious too with its style of directing, but this movie is also more of a traditional movie with many elements of horror. But honestly, this movie surpassed Insidious greatly with its scare value. This is undeniably James Wans best movie to date. This film can go on great horror movie lists along side "The Exorcist", "The Shining", and "A Nightmare On Elmstreet" etc. I can see this movie becoming a hit at the box office as well. There is even a slight chance that this movie might be the first horror movie in a long time to be recognized at the Oscars....maybe! Dare I say it? This movie is scarier than "The Exorcist"! But that's just my opinion!

See it in theaters if you have the chance! If not, then rent or buy it! Turn off the lights and get ready to be frightened.
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A basic haunted house horror movie
Blonde229113 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Conjuring is a horror movie supposedly based on a true story. The story begins when the Perron family moves into a farmhouse in Burrilville in 1971. Many mysterious and frightening events soon follow. Fearful and surprised, they contact the Warren couple who have reportedly captured many demons and ghosts successfully before. After some inspection Warrens conclude that this is a powerful witch who is haunting the farm area including the house. Further analysis of the situation makes them realize that they immediately need an exorcism of the house. An application is sent to the Vatican for approval. But events take a different turn and Warrens have to start the exorcism of Mrs. Perron, whom the witch has possessed, without delay. As usual, the witch does not want to leave, speaks in Latin, levitates and tries to kill them by moving objects. But in the end, Warrens, like they have done so many times before, take over the powerful witch and condemn her to hell.

The story is based on true events, only if you take Warren's word for it. This movie gave me an impression that I am watching an episode of Supernatural TV show, only there were no wisecracking brothers. There are no special effects that have not been shown in other movies before. Most of the scary things happen in the dark only for a few seconds and nothing much is really visible. This is your average haunted house horror movie, nothing special about it.
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Yawn !!!
lurpak7 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
How many times can they hash out the same old tripe. I struggle to class this as a spoiler as...If you have ever seen a film where a family move into a detached old house with a cobwebbed filled attic/cellar, where the dog won't come in and the someone first catches a glimpse in the mirror, the father tries to rationalise when all his family are screaming monster in the cupboard/wardrobe/cellar/attic/under the bed...yada yada yada. well this is yet another one of those films, nothing to see here, move along. The only credit I can give to this unimaginative template of a horror film, just change character names and some dialogue..and bingo a new Hollywood horror film right out of the scripts of the seventies...anyway the credit, a sterling (if a bit stereotypical of the girl who sees the monster as her imaginary friend...yes it has that old chestnut too) performance from Mackenzie Foy, the little girl who seems to have 20 years acting experience over that of Ron Livingston who's about as wooden as an oak tree's morning glory.
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Critics were drunk
Jordan Link27 October 2013
A horrible, hideously cliché exorcism movie. The "true story" based plot could not save this movie from B actors and eye-roll-inducing jump scares. It was great comedy, however. It starts off with a typical, all-smiles Caucasian family. They move into a new, demon-possessed mansion. In fact, let's have a bonus round of sorts, with how much it resembled Dark Skies.* *Birds crashing against the house, girl knocking her head against an object, little kid seeing their own personal ghosts. And the cellar, don't get me started on the stereotypical "dark, creepy" cellar. I think this movie was marketed toward teens who are easily scared. Reasonable people who give ratings such as mine will have a field day with this movie.
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NO. (spoilers included)
ayab2575 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Don't read ahead, if you don't want the movie spoiled.

BUT- you actually have seen this movie. It's the same goddamn thing we always see, 'scary' looking dolls, 'something behind me' shoots, 'I see dead people', the exorcist and so on and so forth. Nothing scary. not worthy of 'horror'. No one even dies in the movie. Seriously??? Waste of time and money. I honestly did not enjoy it.

Nevertheless, if you're young, haven't seen many horror movies, like to go to a 'fun' easy breezy movie, this might be a good choice. Or if you're on a date, and just wanna make-out to some intense music and sudden silence. Go for it.
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Don't Waste Your Money
spiritwalkerfl3 August 2013
So, last night I let my son talk me into seeing that new movie, The Conjuring and I am sorry I wasted my hard earned money on it (of course I was happy to have some of my son's time and really enjoyed that part, but the time could have been spent on better pursuits ). For those not familiar, the movie is based (very loosely) on the experience of a family who purchased a haunted home (Has anyone ever noticed how many people who end up in haunted homes do so at great financial peril?) and found themselves trapped there because they did not possess the money to move. The movie progresses in the usual overly dramatized Hollywood style with dead, decaying bodies swinging from the rafters and all of the other scary stuff found in all the other scary movies. But then it really takes a turn for the worse. The story line introduces that age-ole, misinformed reference to Witches worshiping the Christian construct know as Satan, and for good measure they added the sacrifice of children as well. Sigh! Seriously!? So we start off with references to Witches who worship Christianity's Satan while sacrificing children, and from there we close with a statement that "…God and Satan are real…" They added this little statement at the end of the movie and promoted it as if it were scientific fact. Not only was this movie promoted as the "…scariest movie ever…" which was as fictional as the movie itself, but it was insulting to anyone not from the 3 mainstream patriarchal religions. At a time when conversations about discrimination are at the forefront of our awareness, this was the last thing I expected to see promoted. Shame on you Hollywood for promoting hate and intolerance!
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