The Conjuring

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 729 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 729
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  1. Aug 15, 2013
    4
    If you're looking for a standard horror flick to watch on a night in then this will do the job well enough but for the most part it's the same cliche horror film that's been done to death a hundred times over. There aren't many original ideas to be found here and most of the 'scary' moments are just jack in the box jumps.
    There are quite a few characters in it (a family of seven, two
    If you're looking for a standard horror flick to watch on a night in then this will do the job well enough but for the most part it's the same cliche horror film that's been done to death a hundred times over. There aren't many original ideas to be found here and most of the 'scary' moments are just jack in the box jumps.
    There are quite a few characters in it (a family of seven, two ghostbusters, a police sheriff and some guy with cameras) and none of them have that much depth or personality to the point where most of the cast seem unnecessary. Also some of the acting is pretty bad, particularly the father of the family. When the child actors are upstaging the adults then that's not a good sign.
    One thing that I keep seeing in horror films is pianos! Why does every haunted house have a piano? And why to ghosts always feel the need to play it? I want to see a horror film where they find a dusty old Gibson in the basement and in the middle of the night everyone is woken up by the opening riff to sweet child of mine. It might not be scary at least it would be something that hasn't bee done before unlike pretty much everything in this film.
    Overall this might be a good time sink if you're bored at home but if you're a horror fan then this isn't going to stay with you for long.
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  2. Oct 2, 2013
    5
    It has its moments,But overall its dull and like they tried to hard to make it scary which ruined it in my opinion,Its more gross and disturbing than thrilling or scary,definitely no hair raising moments for me.The worst Paranormal activity was still better than this movie.
  3. Jul 21, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm feeling as though I'm in a rather small majority on this one. The Conjuring was the horror film equivalent to Prometheus: concerning all of its high expectations. To put it simply, horror films are all about the set up and the release (or the "pay-off"), and I felt neither. In my opinion, having felt the lack of the release was due in part to the weak or unclear set up. I don't consider myself a writer, although I believe I could be capable of writing a screenplay that could get away with murder.
    Speaking of murder, how many deaths occurred in the span of this film? Well, there are certainly various instances of implied murders, but other than that we only see the family’s dog and a scene that contains flocks upon flocks of birds that fall (or fly rather) to their death. All of the slayings surrounding any humans had taken occurrence in the past in regard to the history leading up to the family’s arrival. Whether a story is illustrated through a movie, a play, or a book (or any other medium), death is to be used as a plot device: a means to give a strong punctuation to the overall storyline. So what is death? Death is the looming threat that will eventually get the better of us, if we’re ready for it or if we’re not. The element of death can be represented symbolically as a warning, as significance, or the consequence of there being one.
    If there isn’t a single main character that doesn’t die in a HORROR film amid the first and second act (even up to the third act), then the film instinctively looses its power, and one’s attentiveness along with it. At the conclusion of the film, one might ask, “So, what did we gain from this?” Well, we relearned that at the end of any successful exorcism, the film would automatically instill a peaceful and a settling mood to the environment. That type of mood is over portrayed in the conclusion, and doesn’t benefit the film at all; it felt forced. We also learned that “jump scares” are still being used as a gimmick these days (yes, there are “jump scares” in this) only to lift audience’s eyelids of slumber. And lastly, if there are occurrences of paranormal activity at any time shown in a horror film, it better had be at night (or in this case, at 3:07 am precisely).
    Which now brings myself to the time to talk about the aspects of the film that I did enjoy, and thought that the film did justice to. The characters in the film are likeable enough to care for (to an extent) the cinematography is some of the best work I’ve seen in most recent years, the first shot and the last shot felt like the two highest points of visual stimulation, the score for the film was nice and booming (although in scene of the exorcism, the film decides to splice it along side with a character searching for someone in another section of the house, which lacks the tension in the score when it shifts back to him). There were a couple of Amityville Horror references that provided some sparks. And the exorcism scene itself was creative and inventive with the environment of which it was set.
    However, the film did not deliver any emotional connection between my associates and I. We found ourselves pointing out (and chuckling about) where the next big scare would be, and we weren’t all that far off for the majority of them. There was only one time that the film caught me off guard. It dealt with the character Lorraine Warren, who was standing outside by the lake (or river) when her husband comes from behind her when, she spots a corpse hanging from the tree behind him, which gave the film some points. The reason the sequence worked as well as it did was due to the time it occurred: MIDDAY. Which is perfect in any horror film to strive for, because it will not be anticipated.
    I went into this film the same way I go into any film these days, which is to go into it without any knowledge of the plot, characters or anything. It is simply the trailers these days that can give away crucial large chucks of the film; thus I avoid them at all costs (though I wouldn’t have felt any more letdown than if I had). A lessor film would have added a cheap jump scare to the ending shot; this one does not, which it earns some more points for that as well.
    Overall, I thought there were various elements of the film that were rather rewarding to its plot. Though the film as a whole, felt somewhat lousy in its execution. Now there are some critics out there that are calling it something like “This generation’s The Exorcist!” It’s a statement that sounds a bit hefty for a film that might not age as well as the classic. In the end, if one were to compare the two, they will find a clear and strong difference between the two films: AUTHENTIC HORROR. Can you guess which one?
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  4. Jul 21, 2013
    5
    Not sure how this got an R rating...there was no bad language...no one ever really feels like something terrible is going to happen to them, there are few good creepy scenes and a couple of good jump scares using scary faces, the atmosphere is good but I was waiting for this film to really kick in.
  5. Jul 23, 2013
    5
    A family (Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston 5 daughters) moves into a new home and almost immediately becomes terrorized by a demonic presence. Who u gonna call? An expert couple (Vera Farmiga & Patrick Wilson) arrives to exorcise the property. Even though there are some twists on the usual scares, this is pretty much a by-the-numbers haunting with a sadly trite finish. A cast of good actorsA family (Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston 5 daughters) moves into a new home and almost immediately becomes terrorized by a demonic presence. Who u gonna call? An expert couple (Vera Farmiga & Patrick Wilson) arrives to exorcise the property. Even though there are some twists on the usual scares, this is pretty much a by-the-numbers haunting with a sadly trite finish. A cast of good actors adds to the tension, but it's just a lot of bumps in the nite. Maybe I'm jaded or too experienced with the genre, but I was never scared or surprised. Expand
  6. Aug 25, 2013
    5
    What started out as a genuine creepy film slowly devolved into your usual run-of-the-mill exorcism later on. The main antagonist is revealed halfway through, ruining the sense of unknown dread and generally playing out the rest of the movie as a drama.
  7. Dec 14, 2013
    5
    Scary? For me, not really. If you were scared watching Paranormal Activity, then this film will probably scare you. I did find the film interesting though. Went online afterwords to research the story and authenticity of the film version.
  8. Oct 31, 2013
    4
    Another run of the mill Hollywood cookie cutter ghost story. Branching stories, several of which never get resolved (The first part of the film had absolutely nothing to do with the whole movie!). Some genuine thrilling moments, but overall fall flat jump scares and screamingly generic exorcisms. This film portrays witchcraft, paganism, atheists and non-belivers in a light of evil, andAnother run of the mill Hollywood cookie cutter ghost story. Branching stories, several of which never get resolved (The first part of the film had absolutely nothing to do with the whole movie!). Some genuine thrilling moments, but overall fall flat jump scares and screamingly generic exorcisms. This film portrays witchcraft, paganism, atheists and non-belivers in a light of evil, and Christianity as the faith to save the day and the souls of all infidels. A christian propaganda film as much as a horror film. I would rather watch Paranormal Activity over this. Expand
  9. Aug 28, 2015
    6
    Despite its scary moments, "The Conjuring" is a generic summer scare pot we've all seen from James Wan and his typical scare-the-audience formula. lol.
  10. Aug 26, 2013
    5
    The Conjuring is a par movie. The sets and effects was pretty well done and it does a good job with the casting. However, the movie really seems to lack something that separates it from other Exorcism type movies. The story is a bit of a contradiction, as you will learn as you go through it. This particularly ties into the lead characters played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga and theirThe Conjuring is a par movie. The sets and effects was pretty well done and it does a good job with the casting. However, the movie really seems to lack something that separates it from other Exorcism type movies. The story is a bit of a contradiction, as you will learn as you go through it. This particularly ties into the lead characters played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga and their past that the movie reveals. The movie's pacing is also pretty tiring, something that we've seen time and time again since The Exorcism. If you haven't watched The Exorcism, just watch that. That's the "good" version of this. Expand
  11. Nov 7, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have to say, I really think the initial teaser trailer was far scarier than the film. The clapping sequence and the doll are both terrifying. However that is where the actuals scares end. Of course there are plenty of jumps throughout, but only the clapping and the doll hold any lasting menace. That is not to say that this isn't an enjoyable film overall, because it is. It's just not quite as scary as it could have been. Expand
  12. Jul 26, 2015
    6
    When it's not trying to shove religion down your throat, the conjuring is actually a decent horror movie with a vibe that flicks back and forth between drama and horror, unfortunately, it doesn't always work and the conjuring is slightly messy. A slight overshadow of brilliant horror effects makes this film watch-able and pretty damn enjoyable (watch this film with your friends!)
  13. Jan 25, 2014
    6
    Now this is a real horror movie! So much scary scenes! The story was intresting, kinda boring at moments but still a great movie to watch! I recommend it if you want to watch a scary movie with less disgusting scenes!
  14. Aug 12, 2013
    5
    There are some scary moments, but they're mostly jump scares that don't have a lasting affect. The horror fell short for me, but good acting, particularly Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, prevented it from being a bad movie. Not terrible, but not particularly great. I've seen a lot of better horror movies, but I've seen a lot that are worse. It was par for the course. Watchable, butThere are some scary moments, but they're mostly jump scares that don't have a lasting affect. The horror fell short for me, but good acting, particularly Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, prevented it from being a bad movie. Not terrible, but not particularly great. I've seen a lot of better horror movies, but I've seen a lot that are worse. It was par for the course. Watchable, but nothing that hasn't been seen before. Expand
  15. Oct 28, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well-crafted movie with several scary scenes, however it revolves so much around horror clichés: remote haunted big house in the forest, a seemingly happy family, a poltergeist that plagues the occupants, dark spooky cellar, kids (females again as usual) that can see and hear things that adults can’t do so, animals “mysteriously” killed, cursed toys/items, happy ending (sorry for the spoiler!) achieved by uttering the right sentimental “password” to the spirit etc.

    Although predictable, it is worth seeing if you are horror fans.
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  16. Oct 3, 2013
    5
    While the movie may have some scary visuals, it relies too much on old and cheap scary tricks that the movie keeps repeating, so by the time you've experienced the first scary scenes you already know what's gonna happen in the scenes that follow.
  17. Mar 12, 2014
    6
    It is a nice movie with a great theme and background work. It is terrifying in several aspects, including the fact that it is based on a true story, but I believed it would have ended with a more interesting and surprising situation. However, its a nice movie.
  18. Dec 28, 2013
    6
    This is an effective old school horror flick that favors tension and surprises over gore and killings. The Conjuring represents an improvement over Wan's Insidious, eliminating that film's overly corny elements.
  19. Jan 1, 2014
    6
    It opens up with a creepy sub story, but ultimately possesses the same annoying problems as every other horror movie. Insidious was a more original and less ridiculous films, and the sound was terrifying. The Conjuring lacked on many things.
  20. Feb 26, 2014
    5
    Now I am always willing to give them a chance but I am often pretty unimpressed with haunting movies. I really enjoy horror movies but it seems like we get 10 haunting movies a year and none of them very good. The Conjuring on the other hand I thought was very well done, in particular James Wans directing and the cinematography. The story was your typical haunting story of a family movingNow I am always willing to give them a chance but I am often pretty unimpressed with haunting movies. I really enjoy horror movies but it seems like we get 10 haunting movies a year and none of them very good. The Conjuring on the other hand I thought was very well done, in particular James Wans directing and the cinematography. The story was your typical haunting story of a family moving into a new house and weird stuff happens but is still interesting to watch and scary because it was handled so well. These types of horror movies are not really my bag but this one has definitely impressed me. Expand
  21. Apr 10, 2014
    6
    Critics said that it was one of the scariest horror movie from a long time.I said damn i should watch it and the result is that the cation is all in the end of the movie so before it's just long and long.The only good thing in the beginning is the creepy doll.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Aug 3, 2013
    60
    Wan’s film is a sturdily built supernatural chiller, with next-to-no digital effects or gore, and it delivers its scares with a breezy lack of urgency.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jul 25, 2013
    100
    I'd be shocked if we see a better horror film in 2013.
  3. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jul 19, 2013
    25
    The Conjuring is as toothless as it is because it's two different kinds of boring. The film's plot is explained exhaustively whenever loud noises aren't blaring, and random objects aren't teasingly leaping out at you from the corner of your eye.