The Conjuring (2013)

July 26, 2013 By Mike B
Movie Review

The Conjuring Film Review San Diego

 What Worked?

Remember when Horror films were scary? Well, the Conjuring takes you back to the 70s and reminds you just how scary an old school Horror film can be. Director James Wan takes us to a farmhouse haunted by a supernatural evil in this story about two paranormal investigators, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who face their most deadly case yet.

Director Wan is a magician of sorts, as he shows you an empty room, distracts you, and then fills that room with something from your nightmares. His old school scares are effective and intertwined into an involved story, which is rare these days in the genre. Based on a true story of a haunting in Rhode Island, the script is rather engaging, as two stories collide in this horror film, making for an interesting haunted house flick that gets under your skin and burns you while it’s there. What this film takes the time to do is make you care for the characters, so you’ll actually care about their lives and horrific situation. There are no half-naked women running around for their lives, trying to arouse the male demographic while trying to seem scared.

Jump-scares are usually frowned upon in my book, but doing it with clapping hands is a twist on the standard jump-scare trick that made me put my own hands together to praise Director Wan. The film is influenced by some horror genre greats, and although it borrows, it’s always its own movie and never truly steals anything with shame. Not to mention, the sound effects and sound mixing will do quite a number on your spine.

There’s a standout performance from Vera Farmiga, playing Lorraine Warren, a woman with the power of insight into the lives of people past and present. Farmiga makes us care about her character, and admire her courage to put her life on the line to help a family with her special talents. She plays off of Ed Warren, also wonderfully played by Patrick Wilson, very well. The rest of the cast, especially the young talent in the bunch, are all very convincing in their roles. As a cast, they influence you to root them on to survive because they come off as people that don’t deserve the predicament they fell into.

There’s no body count, no sex, and barely any blood, which are the usual suspects of a “horror” movie today. What the Conjuring does is present a story about diabolical happenings that feed off of the horror films that creeped you out in the past. It starts off like Chucky, and ends like the Exorcist, all while managing to be an entertaining nightmare all on it’s own.

Potential Drawbacks:

Some might be a little put back because it does draw from other horror films, but definitely not enough to be a distraction. Those that are a fan of Saw, and enjoy buckets of blood may not appreciate the moody, less-is-more approach that this film utilizes for most of its run time. It’s an old school Horror flick right from the beginning with the vintage yellow font in the title screen.

This films has a ton of jump-scares. If jump-scares annoy you, it may become a distraction, even if they’re done well. Now, if you’re the person that says he/she is not startled by the jump-scares, but you really are, this film is definitely not for you as well.

Film Recommendations:

The Exorcist


The Others

Constructive debates are welcome, but personal attacks are not. If you feel a comment is offensive or considered spam, please feel free to flag it.

Latest Reviews

  • Lock starring Tom Hardy
  • Locke

    One of the best places to have time to yourself and really think about your life is in your car;...

    Read Review >>
  • Expendables 3 Once again, Sylvester Stallone and company are back to spill blood and yell out manly things. Expendables 3 continues the old school action of the...
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Back in the 90s, the turtles in a half shell hit the big screen with three live action movies that were ridiculously fun to watch for kids. Michael...
  • Guardians of the Galaxy We've ventured off into space before, but we've never done it with such a likable bunch as Star Lord, Groot, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket. James Gunn's...
  • See more reviews »