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The Conjuring

The Conjuring 

Conjuring Poster

Director: James Wan
Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

 

Plot: A young couple moves into a house that is chock full of evil spirits. They seek the help of trained ghost hunters to help them de-demon the house.

 

***So one of our new guest writers saw this one as well and we thought it would be a nice change of pace to add her review here as well. We thought it would be fun to get a female perspective as well as the perspective from a little bit younger generation. Thanks for being a part of our insanity Tori!****

Rate It: (0 -3 guys)

 

Adam:

2guys copy

 

Scotty:

1andHalfGuys

 

Griff:

1andHalfGuys

 

Tori: 

2 Ladies

 

 

So what did you think? 

Adam – A well acted film that has a lot of creepy atmospheric moments.   I can see this being a big crowd pleaser for fans of horror, considering the dearth of quality horror films at the cinema.  I must be honest though I did not find this film what I would call scary.  While the film has some creepy parts and jump scares, this film is far from terrifying.

Scotty - The Conjuring started off great, the plot was slowly building to what I had hoped to be a huge payoff and I actually thought that someone was going to make a great horror movie but sadly it ended like all the others, with disappointment.

Griff – This was one of the better comedies I have seen this year. I am not sure what part was the most hysterical, Having the girl who sings “Joe Lies” in Say Anything get possessed by a demon, having a cameo from doll from bride or Chucky, Ron Livingston’s ridiculous wig, or ghosts that resort to hair pulling. They certainly managed to get some laughs from the audience though.

Tori – It had your classic scary moments, such as when they revealed what the demon looks like. There were definitely some conventional horror movie aspects about the film; in fact, it was very reminiscent of the classic exorcism horror films. It did not, however, make me completely jump out of my seat in terror.

 

 

Any thoughts before you saw the movie? 

Adam – I was pretty sure I was going to wish that I had brought a blanket so that I would have something to hide under during the scary parts.  I am a well known wimp when it comes to horror films.  Not that I have not seen all the classics, but that I usually pace around, avert my eyes and later have nightmares.

Scotty – I was none too pleased to see yet another haunted house horror film, I think I have seen 42 of them.

Griff – This looked pretty god awful. More of the same old same old. When did horror films become so damn lame?

Tori – Before seeing this movie, I checked Rotten Tomatoes and saw that it had a 90% rating. I was therefore expecting to be absolutely terrified throughout the entire movie.

The Conjuring Still 1

 

Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative? 

Adam -  Ummm not really It is a haunted house/exorcism story.  Sort of like The Haunting/Amityville Horror meets The Exorcist.  Still a fun watch but certainly not breaking much new ground in the genre.  I did appreciate how they nailed the look of living in 1970’s New England in an older house.

Scotty - No, everyone has seen haunted house horror stories before and that is just what this is.  Young family moves into a house that has a twisted history and that history begins to show itself.  Amityville Horror anyone.

Griff – It was fresh back in 1979 when they made this film already and called it The Amityville Horror. Actually it wasn’t even fresh back then.

Tori - What made it fresh was the complex plot and the impressive acting job (the most compelling of which, in my opinion, was Lorraine).

 

 

Did you think the script was well written? 

Adam – This was fairly well written and acted for a horror film which was a pleasant surprise after the big let down that was Evil Dead My main issue with the film was that the film needed more scares.  The set up for the terror was there but the follow through was lacking.  This was pretty tame for an R rated film.

Scotty – I really liked the beginning of the film so I thought that was well written but the end was just a retread and an overblown mess of an ending.  The music queues were subtle in the beginning but obvious towards the end.  Why does every Horror Movie treat its’ audience like idiots?

Griff - Plot holes abound. Demons transport magically around even though they are currently possessing someone else. Characters do the usual non-sensical reactions. I did think it had a impressive amount of character development though and some good performances by some of the cast.

Tori - Yes, what made the film so enjoyable was the complexity of the plot. In most horror movies, only one family or person is being plagued by an entity. In The Conjuring, however, we are following two families: the Perrons and the Warrens. Having the Warrens present in the film makes the plot a bit creepier. Even the demonologists, the people that are supposed to be the saviors, are ultimately human and are frightened by this entity as well.

 

 

Was there a performance you really liked or really hated? 

Adam – To be honest I thought most of the main cast did a stand up job with their performances.  If you put a noose around my neck I would say Vera Farmiga had my favorite performance in the film.

Scotty – Ron Livingston (Roger Perron) was a major miscast here; he seemed lost and insincere in his acting and when a moment was important he did not have the ability to emote the appropriate response.  Don’t get me wrong I loved him in Office Space but the horror genre does not seem like his thing.

Griff - Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were the stand outs for me. I haven’t seen Ron Livingston look so miserable in a film since he was telling Jon Favreau that they wanted him to play Goofy. If you look closely you can almost see him trying to throat punch his agent with his mind.

Tori – I loved Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren. She was eerily beautiful and intensely empathetic, which are factors that make the film even scarier because one is easily sucked into her character.

The conjuring still 2

 

Do you remember a song from the film?

Adam – “Time of the Season” by The Zombies.  That is pretty much one of the go to songs to set the tone for a late 60’s early 70’s film.

Scotty - The lack of the score early on the film was one of the best things about the movie, sadly the music shows up a later and was unimpressive.  Will someone please make a horror movie with little to no music; silence is scarier than spooky chords on an organ.

Griff - It’s got to be “Time of the Season” although I think they should have tried to find a song from the 1971 instead of 1968. (nit-picky I know, but still…)

Tori – “In the Room Where You Sleep” by Dead Man’s Bones

 

 

What was your favorite line? 

Adam – “Want to play a game of hide and clap?”

Scotty – “Want to play a game of hide and clap?”

Griff – “There is something horrible happening in my house.”

Tori – “We’ve been called ghost hunters. Paranormal researchers. Wackos.” – Ed Warren

the conjuring still 3

What would have made this a better movie?

Adam -  The ability to make me scared.

Scotty – The last 20 minutes of the film was such a letdown because I was under the assumption that we were viewing something better than your average horror film.  Director Wan set it up so well but just did not deliver in the end, relying on all the gimmicks and scares of every other horror movie of the last 20 years.  I understand it was based on a true story, make it more believable in the end, rewrite the climax of the film would be my suggestion or reshoot it without the bells and whistles.

Griff - Maybe if they made a movie that was actually scary that would have made it better.

Tori – My only criticism of the film would be that it was a bit misleading; we see the character of Lorraine and her fears develop throughout the course of the movie, but it comes to a crashing halt at the end. I was fully convinced that Lorraine was going to be possessed, but in the end, nothing really happened to her. The idea of a savior (Lorraine) being possessed by a demon would have made the plot much creepier. Also, the word “conjuring” was not mentioned once throughout the film, so the decision to name it so confused me a bit.

 

 

Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?

Adam - I can see one almost being a better watch if you were home alone late at night watching it by yourself.

Scotty – If you like to see horror films in the theater and the audience makes the experience better for you then do so, you won’t be completely let down, I myself enjoy watching horror films in the quiet of my own home and feel as though I would have lost nothing in doing so.

Griff – I would skip this one. It’s same generic ghost story we have seen dozen’s of times before. There is nothing new here.

Tori - It’ll be much scarier and more convincing if you see it on the big screen.

 

 

What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film? 

Adam – 28 Days Later, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Hellraiser all freaked me out.  

Scotty – The Amityville Horror still scares the shit out of me and if you have not seen The Shining then you should be locked in room 237 at the Overlook Hotel.

Griff - I am going to throw out one of my all time favorite and somewhat obscure horror films. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

ToriThe Exorcist (the original), The Amityville Horror (the original), Carrie, Insidious

The conjuring still 4

 

Any final thoughts on this movie? 

Adam -  Not sure if that Annabelle doll was supposed to make people laugh but that was what happened at the showing we went to.  Hell my mom has a bunch of dolls that look creepier than that set up all over her house.  After reading a bunch of other folks claiming this film was terrifying I think it might be time for me to re-access my belief that I am a wimp when it comes to horror films.  Had anyone heard of hide and clap before watching this film?

Scotty – I have yet to see Insidious, which was directed by the same guy (James Wan), whom also directed Saw, but I feel like he could be the one to make the next great horror film.  This film had the right formula but lost its’ way towards the end.  Not that many scares but there certainly was an air about the film that felt like you were in your basement in the middle of the night having to light the furnace, at least my basement which is almost 200 years old.  I feel as though I was letdown in the end because he made the first half of the film so well, if the whole film sucked then I would have been like “another terrible horror film”  but it had potential and the writer director lost it and therefore ruined the film in my opinion.  There were a couple of miscasts but I did like seeing Lili Taylor again and felt like the actors and actresses were alright in their roles.  The blame for this film goes to writer and director; they seemed rushed at the end and maybe it was because Wan is working on Fast and Furious 7, which I am sure will be a gem.

Griff - I wasn’t kidding when I said people were laughing at this movie during the showing we went to. I actually groaned a points this was so hokey. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and my generation brought so many great horror movies to world. We gave you Freddy, Jason, Michael, and so many other movies. Where are the great horror films from this generation? It seems like we have to go to other countries to see some original horror now days. Is France really making better horror movies than us? (Yes they are!) Am I the only getting tired of these low budget paranormal conjuring of the insidi-sinister movies?

Tori - Great plot, could have been scarier, but overall entertaining to watch.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tracy August 8, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Oh man….kinda glad I skipped this one now. Adam…..was that short film I sent you scarier? Because that freaked me out!

    • Adam August 8, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Tracy I did not think it was a bad watch just not very frightening. Yes that short film was much more scary.

  • Chris August 8, 2013, 4:17 pm

    lol, love Griff’s take that this is a comedy. I’m not too far away from agreeing with that assessment myself, I was chuckling quite a bit through this thing. :P Good review guys and gal!

  • Adam August 8, 2013, 4:56 pm

    So after I sent my brother my portion of this review, I read an article that the doll in the actual story was a Raggedy Ann doll. IMO that would have been much more creepy. Folks were laughing at the doll in the film every time it was on screen at the showing I attended.

  • JavaGirl Life Blog August 8, 2013, 9:11 pm

    Adam, I still have my Raggedy Ann doll. She’s in my closer as we speak. Now I’m officially creeped out. Lol. My apt doesn’t have an attic, sooo.

    • Adam August 8, 2013, 9:45 pm

      Java did your doll start talking and writing you letters in crayon? ;-)

  • JavaGirl August 8, 2013, 9:59 pm

    HAHA! Ok, now you went from making me feel creeped out to just laughing my head off! No, of course not. :P Could you send me the link or tell where you saw that article? I’m curious now about reading the true events concerning the doll.

    • Adam August 9, 2013, 11:14 am

      http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/23/the-true-story-of-annabelle-the-haunted-doll-from-the-conjuring/

      Check it out JavaGirl but you might end up locking your doll in the closet ;-)

      • JavaGirl August 16, 2013, 10:52 pm

        Oh wow! That is crazy! I’ve lived in three haunted places and weird stuff happened all the time.My closest doors were constantly opening up by themselves at night with growls coming from them and out my window, TV’s going off and on, voices coming from the basement (through the vents) lights dimming, shadow people etc and that was only the mild things. They tried to scare me, but I put them in their place, of course. However, that doll story is crazy EVEN TO ME. :/

  • Mark Dore August 9, 2013, 5:02 am

    Hey guys n gal we are on different sides here. I saw it twice and still jumped. Sure it all seemed retreads of Amittyville et all but who is retelling whom? This is based on true accounts so the other horror movies are inspired by it. If the goings on could scare the demon hunters doesn’t that say something? On a lighter note here is better soundtrack music: “Knock 3 times if you really want to haunt me”, “Clap for the demon man”.

    • Griff August 9, 2013, 8:56 am

      Hey Mark, Let’s not forget The Amityville Horror was also supposed to be based on “true” events. I am old so I actualy remember when it came out and it caused a bit of stir. My parents had a copy of the book and the cover of it used to give me the creeps. Let’s get down to brass tacks here though. This story is bunch of bullshit. Possessed dolls and demons running around in peoples houses? This is the stuff of snake oil salesman.
      Amityville Horror photo Amityville_zpsa40138ee.jpg

  • Chris August 9, 2013, 6:29 am

    It definitely freaked me out at times but my biggest issue was how cliched it was. It had just about every horror cliche in there and it got a little bit tiresome by the end. I was virtually ticking them off in my head. Great performances though, which definitely helped.

  • sati August 9, 2013, 7:48 am

    I don’t really believe people who say they weren’t scared by this one. Glad you guys liked Vera’s work, she is such a tremendous actress.

  • Mark Dore August 9, 2013, 9:03 am

    Point well taken Griff. I just as old or older at 51 and still digging the original Dig Dug I played with quarters. Still the Conjuring conjured up scares for me :O

    • Griff August 9, 2013, 12:45 pm

      I was the master of River Raid on the atari 2600. lol

  • Erik - Movie140 August 9, 2013, 11:33 am

    Good Review! Even though it is very much enjoyable and has creepy moments I find it extremely overrated. It is not THAT good.

    • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:47 pm

      Erik, I think some of that might have to do with Horror fans starving for a good flick.

  • Chris August 9, 2013, 1:50 pm

    3 Guys, 1 Girl, 1 Movie? I like it!

    • Rodney August 9, 2013, 4:42 pm

      Clothing optional?

      • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:40 pm

        So you can gaze upon me in my full glory? ;-)

    • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:47 pm

      Mixing things up a little Chris, I think we will soon have seven folks writing with us.

  • Rodney August 9, 2013, 4:42 pm

    What I’m getting from a lot of reviews on this film is that fans of horror don’t find it to be as scary as non-fans of horror have found it. I’m still gonna watch the shit out of this when I can, but I’m reserving the unadulterated praise so many have heaped upon it until then.

    Be interesting to see what Wan does with the next F&F film, though. Will he make Vin Diesel scary?

    • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:41 pm

      I had a fun time watching it Rodney but just like with Evil Dead, I did not find this one very scary. That is not to say it wasn’t a hell of a lot better than Evil Dead.

  • Jaina August 11, 2013, 10:11 am

    You know what? I was just happy to see a well written and well acted ghost/horror film. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a straight up ghost story where it feels and looks like a quality film. I don’t think I found the film as tried and tested and predictable as some of you guys did. Really enjoyed it. Thought the characters were more 3 dimensional than the usual horror films. It didn’t make me jump, but then it takes a lot for a scary film to do that to me. I did like the fact that the film didn’t rely on jumpy moments in the score or the usual quick edits to give the audience a scare. There were some lovely slow building moments which gave some real moments of tension.

    • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:43 pm

      Jaina, I enjoyed the film, it was well acted and suspenseful, not to mention creepy. However, I certainly was not terrified. Maybe it was partly due to the audience we attended with but folks were laughing at some of the supposed scary parts.
      While this was a better film some it reminded me a bit of The Innkeepers, have you seen that yet?

      • Jaina August 14, 2013, 12:50 am

        Was definitely not terrified either. It takes a lot to truly terrify me. Very few horrors have managed that!

        I’ll look up The Innkeepers, thanks Adam!

  • Monkeyboy August 13, 2013, 3:12 pm

    I think I must’ve seen too much horror, because I didn’t find this film all that scary either. It got a bit silly towards the end. The “hide and clap” scene was easily the best scene. The bit with the cupboard sent a genuine chill down my spine.

    • Adam August 13, 2013, 6:46 pm

      You know what I must confess Monkeyboy I was more scared recently when I watched The Reef on Netflix than I was during viewing this film. That is not to say this was not well acted and fun to watch.

  • Table9Mutant August 17, 2013, 1:50 pm

    Good reviews. :-) I enjoyed it a bit more than all of you did! But did love seeing the “Joe Lies” singer in a big role… Lol. I love Lili Taylor in Say Anything! And I thought she was great in this.

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