The Conjuring (2013)
From the moment I watched the preview, I wanted to see this movie. I have to admit, I usually want to see most movies that come out that are in this genre, hoping to be scared and thrilled out of my mind. Many years of experience and I remained hesitantly optimistic.
First to all the critics who went on and on about how there was nothing new about this movie all I can say is, “what the hell did you think was going to happen”? From the previews, we know this is supposed to be based on a true story from a case of famous paranormal investigators, the Warren’s. What do we know about the Warren’s, well they are the folks who investigated the Amityville Horrors (yes, that case was also turned into a movie). Just knowing this information gives you the whole plot of the movie. If you went in thinking it was going to be something other than a flick to get your heart and mind racing with cheap scares, you should have known better. Also, given that the preview lets you know the movie will have hauntings should have given another clue to how the movie would play out.
Having admitted that I went into the movie knowing the plot and what to expect, I was slightly impressed with the movie. Granted, you still had the idiots “shrugging off abnormal occurrences” or “going to the creepy cellar with only a match” instead of running in the opposite direction like a rational person would do, but it wouldn’t be a movie otherwise. I liked that the “ghosts” were subtle and not over the top with makeup and effects. They visibly only came out to play occasionally which helped the buildup of the scenes. I also appreciated that the scenes were lit enough to see what was going on (or not). I hate having to struggle to make images instead of being able to survey the scene, but that was not the case here. The movie also refrained from taking too long to build up to the oddities and submersed the audience into the strangeness of the house almost immediately.
The actors/actresses did a good job.
My main complaint is the sub-story of the Warren’s. I think the movie devoted too much time for this. However, I had to remind myself that this was supposedly based on a true story, so these two stories of the Pollen’s and the Warren’s would have inter-crossed during the investigation of the house. The movie also left some questions opened.
So yes, the movie is predictable (but which horror movies aren’t really) but it’s not a bad movie to watch for a couple of jumps and eerie feelings.
Rated R for sequences of disturbing violence and terror.