The Conjuring (2013) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: James Wan
Producers: Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, and Rob Cowan
Writers: Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes
Date Released: July 19, 2013 (USA)
Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren
Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren
Lili Taylor as Carolyn Perron
Ron Livingston as Roger Perron
Shanley Caswell as Andrea Perron
Hayley McFarland as Nancy Perron
Joey King as Christine Perron
Mackenzie Foy as Cindy Perron
Kyla Deaver as April Perron
Shannon Kook as Drew Thomas
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Conjuring (2013) is loosely based on real-life events. In 1971, the Perrons, a family of seven, move to a new home. Strange and paranormal events happen within the first few nights – such as all clocks stopping at 3:07 and their dog Sadie suddenly dying. As these events get out of hand, the children’s mother, Carolyn, decides to ask demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. The Warrens later discover that the house has a malevolent history involving a witch and a dark sacrifice. The lives of the Perron children are at risk, and Ed and Lorraine must save the family before history repeats itself.
When it comes to horror movies like The Conjuring, blood and gore are not really the “horror” to look out for. This movie is not for the faint of heart – and it can definitely give weeks of sleepless nights to the most sensitive viewers. Viewers can expect some intensity in the latter part of the film, but I would categorize those scenes as scary and not gory. Needless to say, while the movie doesn’t have that much gore, it certainly has other chilling images that can stay in our minds for days and weeks to come.
The Grave Review
When The Conjuring came out in 2013, there were rumors that some movie theaters had priests outside in case any of the viewers couldn’t handle it. Whether those rumors were true or just a marketing tactic, I fully understand why such rumors would exist in the first place. The Conjuring is creepy and disturbing beyond words – and it becomes a lot creepier when you find out that it is loosely based on a true story.
I’ve seen other movies directed by James Wan – specifically Insidious (2010) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) – which is why it’s not surprising that The Conjuring has wonderful and flawless direction. Wan surely knows what he is doing when it comes to horror movies, as he is able to execute a spine-chilling film with a creepy atmosphere without anything seeming too forced. The camera angles are also effective in making the scenes look realistic.
Having an actual image of the antagonist in a horror movie can either make or break the film. Movies that show how the demon or the evil spirit looks tend to become unrealistic – as they make the viewers realize that it’s just an actor in a costume or sometimes even CGI. Luckily, in The Conjuring, that is definitely not the case. The image of the witch in this movie is one of the creepiest and most realistic horror movie antagonists I have ever seen. Everything about the antagonist – the makeup, the costume, the facial expressions, and even her name – is absolutely frightening.
One of the many things I love about The Conjuring is how it separately shows us the lives of the Warrens and the Perrons until they are eventually brought together. This gives us a background of each family instead of abruptly introducing us to the Warrens only when the Perrons need them. More than this, the actors who portrayed the Perron family played their characters well – especially Lili Taylor.
The actors who portrayed Ed and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) make such a great team. They have amazing chemistry that makes you think they are partners in real life. Wilson and Farmiga made me feel that they actually went into the Warrens’ heads as they played their parts flawlessly. These two actors knew what they were doing – which made their characters know what they were doing as well.
Critics usually slam horror movie characters by questioning why they won’t simply move houses, but this movie addresses this and explains why it’s not that easy – which is another reason why I love this film. The movie also gives a clear explanation of the history of the house – allowing the audience to realize why the spirit is so hateful.
The clocks stopping at 3:07 are easily a memorable element in the film. 3:07 a.m. becomes a time that viewers will always remember and dread in real life – and is definitely another reason why the movie is so terrifying. Imagine getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and suddenly seeing the clock at 3:07 a.m. – right after watching this film. If I were to guess, I would say that the director and the writers intentionally wanted to give us a memorable and creepy time that will give us the creeps whenever the clock hits it.
I don’t want to give out any major spoilers, but I must say that the creepiest part is when the antagonist laughs.
A piece of advice to anyone who plans to watch The Conjuring: Hold on extra tighter to your faith. Trust me – you’ll need it.
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