The Conjuring

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 898 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 898

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 20, 2016
    8
    The Conjuring was not a film I was anxious to see as it seemed to be the result of a surplus of ghost based horror films. However it is beautifully shot and worth a watch, though perhaps just a tad too stylized.
  2. Jun 10, 2016
    8
    Very spooky movie.Good actor's game,atmosphere of terror everywher.Very nice film.this movie really scare you to crap his pants.I don't know what else to write just see this movie.
  3. Apr 28, 2016
    8
    "The Conjuring " was one of the scariest movies I've seen in my life , which did not achieve all horror movies scare me, this has scared me totally, and now it's one of my favorites of the genre.
  4. Apr 4, 2016
    8
    The dread gathers and surges while the blood scarcely trickles in “The Conjuring,” a fantastically effective haunted-house movie. Set largely in 1971, it purports to tell a story based on “true case files” about a family of seven whose pastoral dream became a nightmare soon after they moved into a Rhode Island farmhouse. One day, Mom, Dad and the girls are settling into their convenientlyThe dread gathers and surges while the blood scarcely trickles in “The Conjuring,” a fantastically effective haunted-house movie. Set largely in 1971, it purports to tell a story based on “true case files” about a family of seven whose pastoral dream became a nightmare soon after they moved into a Rhode Island farmhouse. One day, Mom, Dad and the girls are settling into their conveniently sprawling, creaking, squeaking two-story house — the rooms quickly become a disorienting maze — and the next, they’re playing hide and creep with a mysterious, increasingly malevolent force.

    The director James Wan plays much the same game with you. Written by the brothers Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes, the movie opens with a jittery, funny prologue involving a couple of pretty nurses right out of a Roger Corman quickie, a devil doll named Annabelle (shades of Rod Serling and Chucky) and a pair of married paranormal experts, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). The Warrens quickly take care of business, and Mr. Wan does the same. With shock cuts, gliding camera movements, muted colors that evoke David Fincher’s “Zodiac” and tricks learned from “The Twilight Zone,” Mr. Wan — whose first sly shot is of a cracked, smiling face — sets a relentlessly uneasy tone that imperceptively shifts between intense seriousness and lightly mocking.

    The real Ed and Lorraine Warren, lifelong investigators of the paranormal — their Web site calls him a demonologist and her a trance medium — established the grandly named New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 but are most famous for their exploits in another house, in Amityville, on Long Island. (Mr. Warren died in 2006; Ms. Warren was a consultant on “The Conjuring.”) The Warrens declared that Dutch Colonial demonic, a diagnosis that led to more than a dozen “Amityville” movies and stoked the market for haunted-house tales. What happened when the Warrens entered the Rhode Island home in “The Conjuring” hasn’t received the same attention, although one of the daughters, Andrea Perron, has published a memoir.

    The movie takes off with Carolyn (an excellent Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston, very good), moving their family into their new home. He’s a truck driver, while she runs the house and five girls ranging from preschool age to high school. They’re appealingly real, with an easy intimacy that’s strikingly different from the canned version briefly seen in a clip from “The Brady Bunch.” The only perceptible crack in the facade is that they’re struggling financially, a fissure suggested by Carolyn’s quietly tense demeanor, Roger’s knotted forehead and the house’s smudged, unpainted walls. Once they move in, they can’t move out, a bad situation that speaks as much to today as to the story’s inflation-plagued period. Things are rocky even before they go bump in the night.

    When Mr. Wan lingers on Carolyn’s crumbling smile it’s obvious that it isn’t only the Perron house that’s troubled. It’s been estimated that 75 percent of Americans believe in the paranormal, while only 54 percent believe global warming has begun. Evidently it’s easier to believe in the terrors that can’t hurt us than to believe in those that can, which may partly account for why so many vampires, zombies and their paranormal ilk are running amok in the popular imagination. Each era brings its own allegorical terrors, and in the 1970s, a golden age of horror cinema, the aftershocks of the 1960s found expression in stories about diabolically terrifying spawn who, with their swiveling heads and annihilating violence, were grotesque embodiments of a generational anxiety.

    “The Conjuring” isn’t just primarily set in the 1970s, it also taps into the paranoia that is both an evergreen American trait and a crucial characteristic of films of that era, horror and otherwise. With amusing self-awareness, Mr. Wan (his earlier movies include “Saw” and “Insidious”) leans on the usual genre tricks throughout, making you jump with hard edits and doors being squeaked open by unseen hands. But he also makes intelligent use of narrative delay and ellipses that help build suspense and suspicion. The script generally doesn’t overexplain, and neither does he. When things start going wrong at the Perrons’ — a bird crashes into the house, bruises bloom on Carolyn’s body — the family knows something’s amiss but can’t read the signs. The deeply religious Warrens (Lorraine wraps rosary beads around one hand) think that they can, and do.
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  5. Mar 27, 2016
    8
    A month before its release, James Wan’s supernatural thriller took its North American bow at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

    So-called Splat Pack filmmaker James Wan (Saw, Insidious) opts for old-school restraint over gore in The Conjuring, an involving and effective throwback to ’70s supernatural horror-thrillers. On the basis of through-the-roof reactions at test screenings, Warners
    A month before its release, James Wan’s supernatural thriller took its North American bow at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

    So-called Splat Pack filmmaker James Wan (Saw, Insidious) opts for old-school restraint over gore in The Conjuring, an involving and effective throwback to ’70s supernatural horror-thrillers. On the basis of through-the-roof reactions at test screenings, Warners and New Line moved the film’s release from January to the summer tentpole season, a decision that should pay off with sizzling summer receipts from young adults. But the handsomely shot, expertly button-pushing scare-fest, which opens on July 19 in North America with worldwide dates lined up through the season, has the polish and the cast to draw older audiences who grew up on shockers built from performances rather than CGI.

    Wan says he set out to make a “classic studio horror film,” and at that, he’s more than succeeded. With its minimal use of digital effects, its strong, sympathetic performances and ace design work, the pic harks back in themes and methods to The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror, not quite attaining the poignancy and depth of the former but far exceeding the latter in sheer cinematic beauty.

    The film doesn’t leave a deep, lasting chill, but it excels at putting a refining gloss on cheap shocks. Until a climactic sequence that pulls out all the stops, the director’s modulation teases out plenty of don’t-go-there moments, both formulaic and innovative, for all they’re worth.

    Based on a documented case from the files of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren -- known for their investigative work for the Lutz family in Amityville, New York -- the story opens as most haunted-house tales do: with a bright and chipper family moving into a huge old domicile, in this case a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. But before the main action begins, screenwriters Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (The Reaping, Whiteout) provide a glimpse of an especially creepy past case of the Warrens’ involving that scariest of horror totems, a doll. Wan uses the cold opening to ratchet up the tension before the audience has a chance to get comfortable, and he weaves the doll into the central plot to excellent effect.

    Until bringing together the paranormal investigators and the terrorized family, the film alternates between the Connecticut-based Warrens (the exceptionally well-cast Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) and the newly relocated Perrons: Carolyn and Roger (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) and their five daughters. The specifics remain undisclosed for much of the film, but it’s evident that the Warrens are recovering from an especially traumatic investigation. At the same time, the Perrons discover that their spacious home has plenty of hidden chambers and boarded-up corridors, and find themselves contending with awful odors, disturbing sounds and shocking visitations in the thick of night.

    Wan’s decision to make the apparitions visible to only some of the characters at first, and not necessarily to the audience, is an ingeniously effective way to feed the mounting dread. In heart-stopping fashion, the demonic spirits that plague the farmhouse insinuate themselves into the Perrons’ daily life, most frighteningly in the family game of hide-and-clap, complete with blindfolds. Director of photography John R. Leonetti’s nimble camera follows the girls and their parents through the huge rooms, ever alert to danger, while editor Kirk Morri’s precise cuts deftly quicken the pulse.

    Still, the Hayes brothers’ screenplay doesn’t truly develop the Perron family as anything more than innocent victims. It pays more subtle and complex attention to character development in the Warrens, whose gently take-charge, DIY investigation, with its crucifixes and Super-8 movie cameras, is a comfort to the Perrons and the audience alike.

    As the clairvoyant Lorraine, Farmiga resonates an extraordinary sensitivity, conveying wordlessly that Lorraine knows the Perrons’ home is haunted the instant she walks through the front door. Upright, devout and compassionate, Farmiga’s Lorraine is a compelling and believable younger version of the octogenarian Lorraine seen in the recent documentary My Amityville Horror. Wilson, reteaming with Wan after Insidious, is compelling as a down-to-earth straight arrow who has seen the dark side.

    The nature of the haunting is gradually revealed until, about halfway in, Lorraine delivers the goods in a breathless block of info that’s semi-comical in its thoroughness -- a fact that the filmmakers seem to acknowledge. “Well,” Ed says in response to her research findings, “that explains a few things.” The mechanics of the storytelling are what matters here, and potentially intriguing themes -- key among them the Warrens’ faith and fearlessness -- are touched upon rather than satisfyingly explored.

    Taut and effective edge-of-the-seat horror, delivered with style and an especially haunting performance by Vera Farmiga.
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  6. Jan 23, 2016
    9
    More like 9.5. This was a great film! Anyone who didn't like this movie, you have BAD taste. It was scary, amazingly acted, was directed like perfection, and I can't WAIT for the sequel! Was it 10 worthy, almost. Watch it, and get ready to be scared!
  7. Jan 3, 2016
    8
    Great scary film! Great premise, we follow "Ghostbusters" who debunk false cases and solve real ones. With that in mind, we follow them as they are on the case. They use the all the electronic gizmo's we see on other ghost films as well as Lorraine being a real physic. Keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
  8. Nov 23, 2015
    9
    Simply a really well-made good old fashioned haunted house ride with genuinely terrifying moments, great acting, great cinematography and a consistent and cohesive story. No cheap jumpsacres, only earned ones with tension and suspense and no CGI. Just a really good horror film.
  9. Jul 12, 2015
    9
    Summary: The Conjuring is a memorable, well acted and genuinely frightening horror film. 90/100 [A-]

    The Conjuring is a horror film directed by James Wan and it was my most anticipated horror movie of 2013. Moving on, the opening scene is spooky, since here you can behold the stunning camera work; this little scene is about a possessed doll called Annabelle. This scene keeps the
    Summary: The Conjuring is a memorable, well acted and genuinely frightening horror film. 90/100 [A-]

    The Conjuring is a horror film directed by James Wan and it was my most anticipated horror movie of 2013. Moving on, the opening scene is spooky, since here you can behold the stunning camera work; this little scene is about a possessed doll called Annabelle. This scene keeps the suspense and the scariness. There are two stories in the movie; the first one is about Lorraine and Ed Warren, they are two paranormal investigators, both have a little daughter and they live in a nice house. Then, there's the other story about a likable family who has experienced some paranormal events in their new home. It doesn't matter how cliche it sounds, this is a terrific horror film.

    After the first 30 minutes or so, there are the first scares, all of them are very effective, unexpected and well executed. Even though I didn't jump out of my seat (maybe because jump-scares are not effective in me and some of the scares were in the trailer) I have to admit that the film freaked me out so much, it boasts some extremely violent sequences and it was so damn thrilling at several moments. A few scares were pretty familiar and it's true that it doesn't offer something new to the horror genre, but it has enough creativity and originality to succeed. In addition, it is very similar in tone to 'The Woman in Black', both have a well handled suspense and an atmospheric setting.

    The performances were great, even the young cast was awesome. The most believable character in the film was Christine (performed by Joey King), this girl was excellent. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were good as always, Vera's character "Lorraine" was a bit surreal but her stunning performance made me believe in all of what she said. Also, Lili Taylor did an excellent job with her role throughout the film, she was amazing, especially in the chilling final act. Moving on, the special effects were quite realistic and so well done. In spite of being a low budget film, it didn't use too much CGI, maybe just in a couple scenes, but everything looks great anyway.

    Its final act has some flaws, the exorcism scene has its ups and downs. However, I still liked it, this whole sequence is truly violent, a bit bloody and creepy. The acting was awesome here, Lili Taylor is such a great actress and she really looked like a possessed woman. I just can't believe that Wan directed this flick, most of his previous movies are quite average; but this one, it's a total blast. The Conjuring is an extremely well done horror film that has an impressive camera work, a great cast and lots of memorable scares. It definitely earns its R rating because it's very gruesome and evil at times. It's my favorite horror film of 2013. Oh, and please don't watch the trailer, it's a huge spoiler. [A-]
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  10. Jul 5, 2015
    8
    It is a horror film and has really strong performances .
  11. Apr 22, 2015
    9
    The Conjuring represents a member of an increasingly endangered species: the R-rated horror movie that relies more on suspense and scares than blood and gore. That's not to say there are no instances of horrific, stomach-churning visuals in The Conjuring, but this is predominantly a ghost/haunted house tale and, as such, is largely devoid of the kind of slicing and dicing thatThe Conjuring represents a member of an increasingly endangered species: the R-rated horror movie that relies more on suspense and scares than blood and gore. That's not to say there are no instances of horrific, stomach-churning visuals in The Conjuring, but this is predominantly a ghost/haunted house tale and, as such, is largely devoid of the kind of slicing and dicing that characterizes movies established in the slasher or "torture porn" subgenres. If I was to use a single word to describe The Conjuring, it would be "intense." The pervasive aura of creepiness more than compensates for the low body count and inventive use of sharp instrumentation.

    The victims are the members of the Perron family: father Roger (Ron Livingston), mother Carolyn, and daughters Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy), and April (Kyla Deaver). It doesn't take long before strange things begin happening in their new "dream home." Bumps in the night, mysterious skin bruises, hands clapping in empty rooms, and a dead dog are the first symptoms that all isn't right in this rural, colonial house. By the time Carolyn brings in the Warrens to help, the situation has become serious with the inmates running the asylum.

    Wan is a master of manipulation and uses every trick available to him to ratchet up the level of tension. At times, he moves the camera in innovative ways (there's a nice little point-of-view shot that occurs when one of the girls looks under her bed), preferring long takes over short cuts. He often plays with the audience, establishing expected angles without the payoff only to have the "money shot" occur shortly thereafter. The camera placement and movement is precise and represents the difference between a pedestrian haunted house tale and a top-notch one. Joseph Bishara's discordant score adds to the effect without becoming intrusive or overwhelming. CGI and practical effects are used but not overused - another indication that Wan knows what he's doing.

    The Conjuring offers the right mix of jump-scare "boo!" moments and mounting tension that creates an intense two hours. The ending is a little weak but it's by no means a disappointment and it wraps up the story effectively - something increasingly unfamiliar to horror films (which like to have "hooks" at the end to facilitate a sequel). This is a midsummer gift to those who genuinely appreciate movies that startle and unsettle. For those who like real horror, this is a don't-miss.

    One of the best horror films of all time!
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  12. Mar 26, 2015
    10
    I love this movie. plot was great and the scary parts were actually scary!!!! It was not predictable and I would watch it again, for sure. I highly recommend this movie if you want a good scare :)
  13. Mar 1, 2015
    8
    The Conjuring soars on a couple of different categories. First, the acting from the entire cast is very good. Second, the direction from James Wan is stellar, really amps up the creepy and does a great job setting an eerie mood. Next, the special effects are great. Everything looks really realistic and that really helps the scares become even more intense. In addition to these, theThe Conjuring soars on a couple of different categories. First, the acting from the entire cast is very good. Second, the direction from James Wan is stellar, really amps up the creepy and does a great job setting an eerie mood. Next, the special effects are great. Everything looks really realistic and that really helps the scares become even more intense. In addition to these, the cinematography is great and the whole production design is great. Really cool look to this one to go with the great feel. Finally, and most importantly, it is legitimately scary. From beginning to end, it makes you feel a sense of dread and provides enough scares to cause you to jump six feet in the air far too many times. The Conjuring stands tall as one of the best recent horror films and, undoubtedly, one of the scariest films ever made, in large part thanks to it relying on the same types of scares to the table that its predecessors do. In many ways, The Conjuring is the 2010s introduction to brilliant, non-cheesy, supernatural horror. Expand
  14. Ozy
    Feb 4, 2015
    10
    Was scary!!! This scared the living crap out of me. Yet i'm the brat aethiest, go figure! The movie is very subtle - then out of nowhere some scary b,,tch jumps off a big cabinet and then i couldnt sleep that night. Don't watch alone dont be a fool.
  15. Jan 3, 2015
    9
    This movie is considered to be one of the most terrifying, This is true for the most part, and the suspense makes you go crazy. The only problem I experienced was when the ending was so slow and a little boring.
  16. Dec 21, 2014
    7
    The Conjuring thrills us with a scary atmosphere and Jump scares that actually works.The Conjuring is a good horror film,it maybe predictable at times but its still scary with countless jump scares and loveable characters that we don't want them to die.
  17. Dec 8, 2014
    7
    It's good to have a good time, but anything else. I think that this film is a decent horror film filled with tension, and some scary moments that works. The atmosphere created by James Wan is very good and it really works, I'm going to see Annabelle and check if it's as good as the conjuring. The film's plot isn´t much, but it isn't really bad. The film hasn´t a wonderful cast, but they doIt's good to have a good time, but anything else. I think that this film is a decent horror film filled with tension, and some scary moments that works. The atmosphere created by James Wan is very good and it really works, I'm going to see Annabelle and check if it's as good as the conjuring. The film's plot isn´t much, but it isn't really bad. The film hasn´t a wonderful cast, but they do it well. The film is good to have a good time (as I said before) with your friends, or alone. I recommend it to horror film lovers and to people who wants to have a scary night. Expand
  18. Nov 23, 2014
    10
    The Conjuring es una película del género terror que logra cumplir con las expectativas del género, sin duda alguna va a ser considerada una de las mejores películas de terror del 2013.
  19. Nov 13, 2014
    10
    My first REAL Horror movie I have ever watched .....Final Destination 5, The Purge, The Bay. and the Resident Evil movies are horror movies I have watched but THIS is my first demon-posssession/exorcism type of horror I have ever watched. And guess what? I watched it late at night, on my Ipod Touch with earbuds on pretty loud. And guess what? Its one of my favorites of all time! ReallyMy first REAL Horror movie I have ever watched .....Final Destination 5, The Purge, The Bay. and the Resident Evil movies are horror movies I have watched but THIS is my first demon-posssession/exorcism type of horror I have ever watched. And guess what? I watched it late at night, on my Ipod Touch with earbuds on pretty loud. And guess what? Its one of my favorites of all time! Really really loved it! My favorite horror flick so far....definitely will look more into James Wans movies. Already checked him out on the IMDB!!.

    And this is what has got me into horror movies and now I freaking love horror flicks. Hollywood sure is awesome guys, don't you think? Go see the Conjuring! Oh, and Resident evil are zombie movies.
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  20. Nov 13, 2014
    8
    "The Conjuring" 10 Scale Rating: 7.5 (Very Good) ...

    The Good: While it was more jumpy than scary (as most horror films are these days), it does have some genuinely creepy moments. Based on actual people who claimed to have been involved in the exorcism of a possessed house, the story is an interesting one. Vera Farmiga is one of my least favorite actresses, but she does a great job
    "The Conjuring" 10 Scale Rating: 7.5 (Very Good) ...

    The Good: While it was more jumpy than scary (as most horror films are these days), it does have some genuinely creepy moments. Based on actual people who claimed to have been involved in the exorcism of a possessed house, the story is an interesting one. Vera Farmiga is one of my least favorite actresses, but she does a great job here. The cast as a whole was more than adequate. An entertaining and enjoyable horror film.

    The Bad: A few supporting characters were sort of forced into the film. You're supposed to care about them somewhat as they feign an attempt to give them personality ... but it doesn't work. There is a lull in the middle where they are investigating the home that I could have done without. Lastly, while it has become a modern horror staple, I wish it hadn't relied on so many hollow jumpy moments.
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  21. Nov 9, 2014
    9
    The Conjuring thrills with its countless scares and tense atmosphere. Solid acting and great cinematography only excels this as a thoroughly enjoyable (and old-school) horror flick.
  22. Nov 8, 2014
    8
    Horrorosa, perturbante, suspensiva, e inteligente. The Conjuring tiene el paquete completo que una muy buena pelicula de horror deberia tener. Además de garantizarte unas cuantas noches de pesadillas con todo el asunto.
  23. Oct 23, 2014
    8
    Using haunting and disturbing imagery instead of violence and gore made the human life a precious thing in "The Conjuring" and that is why enjoyed it a lot. It's a film that is scary enough for You to turn on all the lights and lock all the doors in your house.
  24. Oct 16, 2014
    8
    Los sustos que da son bastante eficientes y la película en si se siente superior en todo a la ridícula Insidious.
    Recomendable a quien le guste el terror con aire clásico, pero con temas espirituales.
  25. Sep 2, 2014
    9
    "The Conjuring" is one of the better supernatural films to come out in the last few years. It's scary, intriguing, and highly enjoyable. The movie has a very 70's feel to it, especially the cinematography, and the story is pretty simple, yet it flows very well. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are great together as the Warrens. Really, the entire cast was great. This is a great movie to"The Conjuring" is one of the better supernatural films to come out in the last few years. It's scary, intriguing, and highly enjoyable. The movie has a very 70's feel to it, especially the cinematography, and the story is pretty simple, yet it flows very well. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are great together as the Warrens. Really, the entire cast was great. This is a great movie to watch and get scared with your friends. I highly recommend it. Expand
  26. Sep 2, 2014
    7
    The Conjuring is by and far the scariest film of 2013. A film about paranormal investigators (vividly portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), it's chilling and a flashback to early horror flicks.
  27. Aug 31, 2014
    9
    "When the music stops, you'll see him in the mirror standing behind you." - April

    This is why i love horror movies.One of the best horror movies i ever seen.
  28. Aug 26, 2014
    7
    This movie caused a big buzz so my best friend dragged me to see it. There are few horrors that can scare me but this movie didn't. Anyways, the plot and the casting were good but there was something missing from it that would give it a higher score.
  29. Aug 23, 2014
    9
    One of the best horror movies I've ever watched. The story is fantastic [and real], I guess I am more afraid of ghosts than I was before seeing this film, it's very good indeed.
  30. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    8
    The Conjuring was the best horror movie I've watched! It actually happened and there's a reasonable story behind the true events, as well as the movie!
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.