The Conjuring (2013)

The first thing you need to know about The Conjuring is that there is no point in the entire damn movie where anything is conjured. This movie isn't even about a story that eventually builds up to something that will be conjured, but some meddling kids stop it from conjuring so the world can go on. Nope. It's as if some movie executive said, "I know! We'll call it The Conjuring!" "Um, sir, there is no conjuring." "But it'll sell!" "Good idea, sir."

People move into house + house is haunted = scary movie.

This movie adds a bit to that basic equation by including the possession expert and his wife with their own child and past experience. They get more intimately involved in the spirit haunting the house when the creature doing the haunting turns its attention on them at one point. This is supposed to be based on a true story, and the movie goes out of its way to repeat that a few times, which means I in no way believe it.

The movie has several startle moments, but it lacks the really creepy scariness that I've been hoping to find in a movie for a while now. I just haven't seen any truly scary movies for the past few years, and I don't know if it is just that I'm not as easy to scare or that the movies just aren't good enough to do it.

The acting is superb for this kind of film. I didn't expect actors of this caliber to be involved in this kind of half-hearted Amityville clone, but they came, and they really tried to sell their respective roles. It was actually a bit of a shock and a good one at that.

Notably, the ghost hunters, played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and the homeowners, played by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston were tremendous in their respective roles. If Paranormal Encounters had access to talent like this, it would easily have had the staying power of Blair Witch. Heck, even the kids in this movie were believable, and that is a very rare thing.

Acting was great
Casting was fantastic
Direction was good
Story was a bit bland
Scare factor was arbitrarily low



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