The Conjuring (15)

Film

Horror films

The Conjuring

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Jul 29 2013

Getting a blood transfusion of molten steel is possibly the only way you’ll stay in your seat all the way through this haunted house movie. No blood is spilled, but American censors rated it R (equivalent to our 18) anyway – reportedly for being ‘too scary’. I’ll confess to letting out a yelp during one scene, like a puppy being strangled, as an invisible hand tugged at the leg of a sleeping child.

It’s directed by James Wan (the man who started the ‘Saw’ franchise) and claims to based on ‘true case files’. Set in 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) have just moved into a classic creepy old farmhouse: nooks, crannies and a barricaded basement. Clearly something is up when their dog refuses to enter the house. Plus the Perrons have too many teenage-ish daughters for comfort (girls of a certain age being lightning rods for malevolent spirits, as every horror fan knows).

Wan builds mounting dread with silence and suspense, lingering the camera unsettlingly long here, creaking a door there. Finally, after a night from hell, the Perrons seek professional help. And if your house is haunted, who you gonna call? Lorraine and Ed Warren – the husband and wife ghostbusters (played here by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) who de-spooked the house in Amityville. The plot is skeletal. And ‘The Conjuring’ is not ingenious like, say, the first ‘Paranormal Activity’.

One reason it works is the acting. Lili Taylor is totally convincing as scared mum Carolyn. And heaven only knows how the filmmakers got a look of pure terror on the face of 12-year-old actress Joey King (maybe they dangled Justin Bieber over a balcony in front of her). Best of all, the script doesn’t take itself too seriously, adding in stupid-funny lines. Wan is going great guns right up until he unveils the source of the evil, and with it unleashes prosthetics and predictable horror movie clichés (he did the same in ‘Insidious’). But by this time you’ll have had the sweet bejesus spooked out of you and may not care.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Aug 2, 2013

Duration:

112 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

James Wan

Cast:

Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

Screenwriter:

Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3 / 5

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  • 4 star:2
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  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
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Zak Farooq - A must watch horror !

This new popcorn-shaking horror - excellently produced by James Wan (also director of Insidious) was a major hit with almost everyone talking about how scary the movie actually was, whether they were under-aged kids or horror-flick-loving adults. But the question is was it worth all the hype? Vera Farmiga (Lorraine Warren) and Patrick Wilson (Ed warren) - a couple who specialize in paranormal activities and demonic experiences - stumble across a deeply desperate woman, Carolyn Perron (Portrayed by Actor Lily Taylor) - in which she believes her house is haunted as she and her family (her three daughters and husband) have been experiencing paranormal encounters since they had moved in to their new, deserted and creepy looking house in the middle of nowhere - which deemed not the wisest of choices when choosing a house to spend the rest of your life in. As more and more suspicion arises of the house and whether there is something uninvited with them. The Warren couple eventually decide to go ahead and investigate the Perron's family case and with their expertise and previous success with helping many other families with horrifying, abnormal experiences. The challenge what they are about to face with the Perron family is not only heart-eating but truly compelling, especially the fact that the case is based on true events, and what the family and the investigators experience whilst at the house will leave your palms sweating and your heart rapidly pounding in suspense. I am not the biggest horror geek, but I have seen my fair share of modern horrors - from 'Insidious' to 'Evil Dead' and 'Sinister' all which never really made me excited or sweat in fear. Most, in fact, were a major disappointment. The problem with modern day horrors are that the story-line's are all pretty much the same and predictable and the scariest scenes are just corny with the use of too much special effects; making them look too surreal, which always drifts away my excitement. The Conjuring however, tells a compelling story line - with the use of factual events and characters - and the use of great actors. Everything about the movie is spooky from the daunting and dull house surrounded by the classic but effective use of barren woods and a silent and creepy lake. All to which build up the intensity of fear whilst watching the movie. This is a must watch horror for all the horror lovers and for those who want a scare during a movie night weekend. 'The Conjuring' will not disappoint in terms of horror, silent and suspense moments and a great story line.

Zak Farooq - A must watch horror !

This new popcorn-shaking horror - excellently produced by James Wan (also director of Insidious) was a major hit with almost everyone talking about how scary the movie actually was, whether they were under-aged kids or horror-flick-loving adults. But the question is was it worth all the hype? Vera Farmiga (Lorraine Warren) and Patrick Wilson (Ed warren) - a couple who specialize in paranormal activities and demonic experiences - stumble across a deeply desperate woman, Carolyn Perron (Portrayed by Actor Lily Taylor) - in which she believes her house is haunted as she and her family (her three daughters and husband) have been experiencing paranormal encounters since they had moved in to their new, deserted and creepy looking house in the middle of nowhere - which deemed not the wisest of choices when choosing a house to spend the rest of your life in. As more and more suspicion arises of the house and whether there is something uninvited with them. The Warren couple eventually decide to go ahead and investigate the Perron's family case and with their expertise and previous success with helping many other families with horrifying, abnormal experiences. The challenge what they are about to face with the Perron family is not only heart-eating but truly compelling, especially the fact that the case is based on true events, and what the family and the investigators experience whilst at the house will leave your palms sweating and your heart rapidly pounding in suspense. I am not the biggest horror geek, but I have seen my fair share of modern horrors - from 'Insidious' to 'Evil Dead' and 'Sinister' all which never really made me excited or sweat in fear. Most, in fact, were a major disappointment. The problem with modern day horrors are that the story-line's are all pretty much the same and predictable and the scariest scenes are just corny with the use of too much special effects; making them look too surreal, which always drifts away my excitement. The Conjuring however, tells a compelling story line - with the use of factual events and characters - and the use of great actors. Everything about the movie is spooky from the daunting and dull house surrounded by the classic but effective use of barren woods and a silent and creepy lake. All to which build up the intensity of fear whilst watching the movie. This is a must watch horror for all the horror lovers and for those who want a scare during a movie night weekend. 'The Conjuring' will not disappoint in terms of horror, silent and suspense moments and a great story line.

Paul Jacob

Is "The Conjuring" magic? I agree it is a perfectly good, if somewhat paint-by-numbers horror movie. It doesn't quite live up to its initial promise. However, it does have some scary moments, though its rather weak storyline disappoints. More for the casual filmgoer rather than for a true horror afficienado. Verdict? Magic, no, but it serves up a decent enough genre movie.

Seth

A few jumpy bits, but more of the same formulaic, is-this-it -TBH-I'll be-glad when-it's-over-feeling of a lot of recent, mainstream U.S. horror. It obviously has appeal to a lot of people and if you enjoyed other recent U.S. made, cinema horror-fodder you'll probably have fun with it, but if you're expecting something a cut above in terms of being a bit different and original based on the good ratings it's received, rather than a slightly more polished than most more of the same, you might well leave disappointed, as I did.

Matt

This wasn't quite The Exorcist for me - it hangs back and doesn't pull some of the punches it should, and just occasionally the general storywriting is a bit iffy. But that said, it's really quite frightening on the whole, and definitely serves up very good, in places excellent horror.

Leg Only

The horror films that make a lasting impression on me usually incorporate the following: creepy children with long, dark hair in long, white nightgowns, unknown forces that can’t be seen (brilliantly executed in the Paranormal Activity franchise which, to this day, are the still the scariest films I have ever watched) and those clichéd moments in bathrooms when the leading lady looks at her reflection in the mirror and notices something terrifying standing behind her. I found almost all of these boxes ticked in The Conjuring – although, as Cath pointed out, the eventual appearance of the hateful spirits themselves somewhat ruined the mystery of the ‘someone standing behind the door’ scenario, particularly overdone in the scene in which the mother awakes suddenly to find a poisonous entity projectile-vomming blood into her mouth. Like Insidious, the film was well acted and cleverly constructed, with enough witty dialogue to lighten the mood. While largely predictable, it had enough jumps and thumps to keep it entertaining (increased, for me, by the experience of entering an eerily empty cinema with a flickering screen before the adverts actually started rolling), and was full to the brim with the best modern-day horror conventions. Refreshingly, however, this film spares viewers from the usual wasteful wife’s lament, entailing her attempts to persuade her husband that she isn’t crazy and that they have to move: the masculine head of the Perron family, while not a ‘believer’, seemed to take it all on the chin. Largely, I liked it.

Kevin the Gerbil

I am a big fan of Pat Wilson and will watch anything with him in it. A capable thriller, but cannot understand the American rating,

critique

Capable horror thriller, nowhere near as special as many critics are claiming it to be.