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The Conjuring (2013)

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Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director:

James Wan
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453 ( 15)
15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vera Farmiga ... Lorraine Warren
Patrick Wilson ... Ed Warren
Lili Taylor ... Carolyn Perron
Ron Livingston ... Roger Perron
Shanley Caswell ... Andrea
Hayley McFarland ... Nancy
Joey King ... Christine
Mackenzie Foy ... Cindy
Kyla Deaver ... April
Shannon Kook ... Drew Thomas
John Brotherton ... Brad
Sterling Jerins ... Judy Warren
Marion Guyot ... Georgiana
Morganna Bridgers ... Debbie
Amy Tipton ... Camilla
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Storyline

In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to examine the house. What the Warrens discover is a whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Perron family wherever they go. To stop this evil, the Warrens will have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of disturbing violence and terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

19 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Warren Files See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,855,326, 21 July 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$137,400,141

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$318,000,141
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Conjuring had the working title of "The Warren Files". See more »

Goofs

When Ed and Lorraine are listening to the recorded interview, the sound meter needle on the recorder does not move as the recording was audible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Debbie: It scares us just thinking about it. When you hear it, you're gonna think we're insane.
Ed Warren: Try us. Please, from the start.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the names "Shannon Kook", "John Brotherton", "Sterling Jerins" appear in the end credits, a white cross on the grave turns upside down. See more »

Connections

References Secret Beyond the Door... (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Tubular Bells
(uncredited)
Written by Mike Oldfield
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Gripping, Tense and Overall Masterful Genre Revival
22 July 2013 | by Simon_Says_MoviesSee all my reviews

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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