Movie Review

The Conjuring

The Conjuring Movie Poster

US Release Date: 07-19-2013

Directed by: James Wan


  • Vera Farmiga
  • Lorraine Warren
  • Patrick Wilson
  • Ed Warren
  • Lili Taylor
  • Carolyn Perron
  • Ron Livingston
  • Roger Perron
  • Shanley Caswell
  • Andrea
  • Hayley McFarland
  • Nancy
  • Joey King
  • Christine
  • Mackenzie Foy
  • Cindy
  • Kyla Deaver
  • April
  • Shannon Kook
  • Drew Thomas
  • John Brotherton
  • Brad
  • Sterling Jerins
  • Judy Warren
  • Marion Guyot
  • Georgiana
  • Morganna May
  • Debbie (as Morganna Bridgers)
  • Amy Tipton
  • Camilla
Reviewed on: June 27th, 2016
Vera Farmiga and Patrick WIlson in The Conjuring

Vera Farmiga and Patrick WIlson in The Conjuring

The Conjuring is supposedly based on a "true story". In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron moved, with their five daughters into an old Rhode Island farm house where they soon began to experience bumps that go in the night, as well as the smell of rotting meat. The haunting escalated to moving objects and bruising on Carolyn's body. In 1973, Carolyn made contact with Ed and Lorraine Warren, noted paranormal investigators, who spent much of the next two years looking into the occurrences and the home's history. At the end of the movie, Lorraine receives a phone call and then turns to tell Ed that a priest, they work with on exorcisms, wants to talk to them about a case on Long Island. It is a reference to the famous Amityville horror haunting, in which Ed and Lorraine looked into.

What was it about the 1970s and reports of paranormal/demonic activity? There were horror movies before this time but the subject of demonic possession was rarely discussed. Then a film called Rosemary's Baby came out in 1968, followed by The Exorcist in 1973 and then The Omen (1976). These films were huge hits and depict the activity of demonic spirits, or Satan, on earth in contemporary times. Is it a coincidence that people started to report these supernatural goings on or had they been watching too many horror films? 

Lorraine Warren and Andrea Perron, one of the daughters, acted as advisors on the film. Lorraine has a cameo as a student in the college lecture hall. No doubt Hollywood took some license as somethings happen when no one is even around but this movie is billed as based on a true story. Lorraine and Ed looked into the homes ownership. It was built in 1885 and has a history of death in it and nearby. Ed and Lorraine believe a spirit was targeting the family for reasons the movie reveals later on.

Whether we believe any of this is true or false is poitnless to even evaluate. The Perron family thought it true and most interestingly, so did Ed and Lorraine. This married couple were like a real life Mulder and Scully. Early in the movie they are shown dismissing a woman's claim that her house is haunted with rational logic. Thus we are intended to see them as true ghost hunters and not just fame seekers. Ed has been taught to do exorcisms while Lorraine is clairvoyant, able to sense and see the presence of evil spirits.

The Conjuring does what all good scary films are intended to. It has some good jump out of your seat moments. What makes this movie work beyond that is Ed and Lorraine. I wanted to know more about them and how this career came to them. They make for an interesting couple with a room in their home that bares comparison to the Ghost Busters Containment Unit. I have no idea how they sleep in that house if they truly believe in what they do?

I would like for any film that uses the, "Based on a true story" tagline, to offer some proof but this all must be taken based on your own experiences and beliefs. I know many people who believe in actual demonic possession but I also find it interesting that such things only started to be discussed in the mainstream after Hollywood started depicting it in films. Hmmmmmm? Either way, The Conjuring is worth a viewing if you like your horror movies scarier than they are gory.

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