The Conjuring

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conjuringI have mixed feelings about this movie. I’ve been saying for years, that they should do horror movies that aren’t just gore fests (like that ridiculous Evil Dead from a few months ago). So here comes the director of Saw and Insidious, doing just that. Perhaps if he would’ve come up with a few more original concepts, it would’ve been more enjoyable. Every scene has you think “Hey…that was a Twilight Zone. Oh, there’s The Birds.”

Along with The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Amityville Horror, and a few others. Now, it’s understandable that you’ll have the creaky floor boards, slamming doors, and lights burning out. I just get tired of the basement scenes, the possessed kids speaking Latin…

Sure, use a creepy doll or old broken down toy that conjures up spirits (clowns always work well). Those are great moves. You just wonder at what point they’ll stop borrowing from every horror film that’s come before it.

The movie takes place in 1971 (we can ignore the “based on real events,” because who knows what that even means). I was thrilled to see Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson playing the couple that are ghost hunters. You might not see better actors in a horror film, but then you find they’re not a very interesting couple.

Ron Livingston pops up (with the ’71 sideburns), as well as Lili Taylor.

The director has some great shots of hallways, cobwebs, and eerie looking piers and trees. Things are helped along by the cinematography of John R. Leonetti, with some well-crafted set pieces, enhanced nicely by the musical score of Joseph Bihara. It would be so fun to do musical scores for horror films.

Once the Perron family moves into their secluded house in Long Island, the supernatural stuff starts happening. Those include bruises that make Lili Taylor look like she’s dating Chris Brown. The daughters are dragged by their feet when they sleep. Nice.

During one possession, the person looks like Mick Jagger (more like Keith Richards once the puking starts).

The movie needed a few more scares. Perhaps they could’ve used the Chucky doll with bangs a bit more.

I sat between two female friends that like horror flicks, and it was fun watching them jump. They both liked it a lot more than I did.

It gets 2 stars out of 5, but I’m guessing fans of this genre would be a lot kinder. It’s already getting great early reviews.

I’m guessing most won’t be disappointed seeing it, and will probably leave their light on that night.


  • Nancy

    Horror movies seem so redundant these days always taking place up state and with all the old cliche occurrences such as a basement, a haunted toy or lights going on and off. Seems like there is no more originality left for horror flicks. thanks for the honest review Josh.

  • Mark Stewart

    So its just another "scary movie" that has like you said borrowed from previous flicks. How could they then say its based on real events? Yeah Ill skip this one….unless Im sitting in between two ladies who jump out of fright. That must have been terrible for you.

  • joshboardfox5

    Mark, I have no clue what they even mean about "based on real events" other than that the couple in the movie may have been "real ghost hunters" in the 60s and 70s.

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