… the haunted house movie that was rated R just for being scary? Yep, that’s right. The Conjuring has no gore, no foul language, no objectionable content. It’s just that terrifying.
The story itself is not particularly unusual – a family moves into an old New England home, only to realize that the house is infested with malevolent, demonic spirits. The family calls upon Ed and Lorraine Warren, two renowned demonologists, to investigate and cleanse the house, but the demons aren’t leaving without a fight. To add an extra creepiness factor, the movie is based on the actual case files of the Warrens, who made a name for themselves in real life by investigating so-called paranormal phenomena, including the infamous Amityville Horror case. And intertwined with the main storyline is another real-life Warren investigation, this time involving a possessed doll that looks as though it just crawled up from the mouth of Hell.
The filmmakers make excellent use of camera angles and subtle Hitchcockian tricks, such as banging doors, unseen voices, and a pair of clapping hands that had me jumping out of my skin. In all my years of horror movie watching, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The build-up of suspense is masterful, the scares are genuine, and the terror lingers long after the movie ends. Believe me when I say that we will be hearing about this movie for a long time to come. And for anyone who appreciates the value of a genuine scare, The Conjuring is a must-see. It will scare the living daylights out of you.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)