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Showing 1-10 of 3,061 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,453 reviews
on September 26, 2014
Well, here we are, digging into a haunted house story with roots tied to Amittyville. Those roots are Ed and Lorraine Warren. Parapsychologists? Ghost hunters? Demonoligists? Kooks? Pick your label. I'm going to stay away from doing so because I think they're all of those and more. Leading lives as people who seek out strange phenomena and try to deal with the darker sides of reality, you might think that they are insane, and you would probably be right. Some of the cases that they have reported on and been involved with would make even the heartiest of skeptics think twice. So here we have The Conjuring. Before Amittyville, which is probably the Warrens' most famous case, we had a big, scary farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The year is 1971. And the Perron family has just moved in.

The film actually starts with the story of Anabelle, a hugely scary-looking possessed doll (movie coming soon) that runs amok on a couple of college girls, ransacking their apartment and writing notes and being super-creepy. In steps the Warrens and they put an end to Anabelle's reign of terror, taking the doll with them and stashing it in their personal depository of cursed things in a locked room in their own home. Here is where you need to drop the whole "Based On A True Story" nonsense right off the bat. If Hollywood has gotten its hooks in it, it's not very TRUE at all. Sure, there are certain aspects of the film that are based on actual accounts, but in this case, take for instance Anabelle. In the movie the doll is three feet tall and literally scary as f*ck. I mean, when you see it, your first reaction is "Who in the hell would own that doll, let alone sleep with it in their room?" It is one step away from the creepy clown doll in Poltergeist. Same deal. Anabelle (the real Anabelle, and yes, she's real) is actually a Raggedy Ann doll. And she has done some seriously creepy things (if you care to research). She is locked up in a cabinet at the New England Society For Psychic Research. But she bears no resemblance to the doll in the movie nor do they tell you what she did after leaving the college girls' home. So, like I said, keep that "Based On A True Story" stuff out of the equation and realize that this is just a really scary movie. Enter the Perron family. Mom (Lili Taylor). Dad (Ron Livingston). Five daughters. The move into the dilapidated farmhouse and everything is going great except the family dog absolutely refuses to enter the house and one of their daughters finds a boarded up entrance to a cellar filled with all kinds of stuff from a rotting piano to various other furnishings. The next day they their dog, Sadie, is discovered dead in the yard by their youngest daughter April, who also finds a mysterious and creepy antique music box. Let the serious haunting begin. At first its subtle. A slammed door. Weird sensations. Two of their daughters are accosted by some dark figure in the bedroom. The ghosties go full out when husband Roger is away in Florida. Enter Ed and Lorraine Warren. Their house isn't haunted. It's infested with a demonic force that is surrounding the family. Leaving is not an option. The force will just follow them. Researching the property, Ed and Lorraine discover that it has a case of the nasties spanning all the way back to the spooky days when the original 200 acre property was owned by an accused witch, Bathsheba, who tried to sacrifice her week-old child to the devil and killed herself in 1863, cursing anyone who would try and take possession of her land. Since that time the land had been parceled and split and the Warrens discover a plethora of bad things, murders and suicides, have take place in the surrounding properties over the years. Uh. Oh.

The Conjuring is scary. Super scary. From the director of Saw and Insidious, James Wan. Not the pedigree I would have preferred. I can't stand ultra-gore tripe like Saw and Insidious was just decent. Wan outdoes himself here. Forget both of those aforementioned franchises. The Conjuring just might be his masterpiece. There is no real gore here. There is no nudity or sex of any kind. No curse words (of the vulgar variety, to be sure). No ultra-violence. None of the above. This movie is rated R because it is absolutely terrifying. The true story aspect tends to lend to that credibility (but like I said, how much? how far?). The Warrens are real people. The Perrons are real people. Anabelle is a real doll. Whatever else is purely speculative. All I can say is, if even 20 minutes of this movie is true, those people should have gotten a medal. Seriously. With the hooflaw that surrounded The Amittyville Horror after Hollywood got a hold of it, The Conjuring should just remain a scary movie. End of story. The acting is good. The characters are real. You don't find yourself hating them like you do in most scary movies, for making stupid decisions. The Perrons don't play with Ouija boards or mediums or tarot cards. They don't invite this entity into their house. It's already there. And it's been waiting for anyone to come along and play.

Dig it!
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on April 12, 2017
The key thing to remember when watching the Conjuring films is that the center is always the relationship between the Warrens. They determine what happens and what doesn't. This makes them distinctive in the horror genre. The gore and violence is scarcely here. In its place is well-thought creepiness and possession. The movie makes a point of grounding itself in reality. You soon learn why that ghastly tree is present on the cover and what its connection is to everything else. This is intelligent, story-driven horror. And while the omnipresent Catholic element may be over-the-top, the producers and writers prevent it from becoming the whole story. And, of course, with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as leads, well, there is little to disappoint. This little film proved to be a box office bonanza and made Conjuring:2 happen. Let us all hope that the relationship between the Warrens remains the center on which all other sequels base themselves.
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on January 29, 2014
Before I saw The Conjuring I heard a lot negative complaints that it was merely "cattle prod cinema" which I inferred meant a lot of awful stingers were the only thing that would make the audience jump. This horrible cliché has been overabundant in many so-called "horror" movies for a good while now and I my expectations were low.

Thankfully, there are no stingers. Yes, there are scares and jumps, but the score is completely unobtrusive and there are no cats jumping out of closets or phones suddenly ringing. James Wan knows that atmosphere, cinematography, suggestion, and the unknown can build suspense and horror, and the Conjuring has plenty.

Apparently based on a true story (which I am extremely doubtful of, but not completely disbelieving) a happy family of mom and dad and five young girls move into a large farmhouse bought at a low price from a bank auction. As soon as they cross the threshold things are not quite right and the property reeks of pure, menacing evil. Eventually they call in the help of a local ghost-hunting couple to document the case and research its history.

It was the early 70s, the real Ghostbusters (pun intended) were still in college.

About 80% of The Conjuring works. The dread, the suspense, and the inability to comprehend what is really lurking in the darkness of the house makes for great horror. The girls see...something, but we don't. It's a lot like Robert Wise's The Haunting, which is kind of ironic since Lily Taylor, who plays the mother, was in the 1999 remake of that movie, which was full of all the worst horror clichés and set-ups, as well as excessive CGI. It's like Taylor wanted to set the balance straight by doing a movie that took the opposite, and more intelligent, approach.

John R. Leonetti's photography is very slick, with lots of slow, creeping shots, but I couldn't help but think that a rawer edge, with exploitation lighting, would have helped it look a bit more authentic. There are a bit too many slamming doors scares too, and towards the end it goes off on a completely pointless tangent with the Annabelle doll and does absolutely nothing with it. For the bulk of the running time The Conjuring seems original and groundbreaking, though in the last act it's a jumble of Blair Witch, The Exorcist, and What Lies Beneath.

The positives still far outweigh the negatives, and I still recommend the film to horror fans. If only we had a version of The Amityville Horror that was made this way instead of that horrendous 2005 movie. No doubt there will be numerous sequels.

The Blu-ray looks great in 2.40:1 1080p with brilliant DTS HD-MA sound. The extras could have been more satisfying.
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on August 22, 2016
I love horror movies, especially those involving ghosts and demons and such. One of my favorites was Amityville and The Conjuring very much reminds me of it. I must have missed when this movie came out because I'd never heard of it but then saw a preview for The Conjuring 2 and I was intrigued so I bought this one. Yes it's scary, yes it's worth a watch, but it has lots of similarities with Amityville Horror, that's what I kept thinking as I was watching it, it just all seemed so familiar, but despite that I liked it a lot.
There is a bit of a difference in the movie with the 'demonologists' involved, but other than that it's familiar.
Yes the movie is scary on most levels, but not as scary as Amityville I think, but that could be because I saw that when I was a child and it stuck with me.
My recommendation is to watch The Conjuring in the dark alone and it will have a bit more of an impact I think.
Movie quality is decent, very good actually but you have to remember it's set in the 70's so it seems and feels very much dated. My kids enjoyed it but weren't sure really what to make of it.
All in all it's a good movie for horror fans, I am looking forward to seeing part 2.
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on November 25, 2013
I waited to watch this movie even though I've heard rave reviews about it for so long now. I love any type of horror movie - especially those "based on true events". How accurate those "true events" are, I'm not sure, but seeing that line seems to help the mental psych get into the film before it has started.

The Conjuring had some of the best "scary movie acting" that I've seen in a while. The kids in the movie were all great and I think it was their acting that really brought the movie around. The scenes were not too over the top to where it took away from the spook factor. Though I think it would have been better (more fun) having been seen in the theater - or with other people that scare easily. The "jumpy" scenes were spaced almost too far apart to where it seemed like you were waiting forever for something to happen. Hence, seeing it with a group of people might have made that part a little more exciting.

The story line really wasn't all the different from others. I still prefer Amityville Horror (original) over this simply because I liked the filming and script layout better.
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on July 24, 2014
This is a pretty good horror/thriller. Not the best ever, but it gives you some pause. After viewing the whole spectacle, I'm left with the usual internal gnawing of how much is true and how much is completely made up. There seems to be a huge difference in Hollywood if it's based on a true story or inspired by true events. The latter can deviate so much from the real events that the movie could be unrecognizable to the real participants. It would seem if the real participants refuse to comment on the actual events, the movie gains even more cult status/mystery. And then in contrast, when the real participants do talk, you often think scam. The 'truth' in these movies only works for me if I know the original participants were on the set everyday, making sure their stories were told accurately....something that is a rarity indeed.
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on November 15, 2014
This is a very good horror movie even for those who are not fans of horror movies. The acting is very good all around, the writing is great, and it is based on a true story. Whether you believe a house could really be haunted or not, this story is based on events that happened in 1971 when a family moved into a farm house. Strange happenings drove them to seek the help of the Warrens, a couple who investigated many cases of paranormal activity, including the inspiration for "Amityville Horror".

If you are not big into horror movies with lots of gore (which I'm not), don't worry, this has virtually none. Here the director of movies such as "Saw" brings his ability to scare an audience without depending on lots of blood and gore. I would not say it was very scary, though there were moments that will make almost anyone jump. They do a decent job of building up to the scares rather than piling them on; however, this also results in the movie being somewhat predicable at times. All that being said, if you prefer movies such as "Saw" and expect horror movies with lots of gore and/or scares at every turn, you will be disappointed here.

I found some of the extras on the discs very interesting. They included interviews with the real Lorraine Warren, members of the Perron family about whom the movie is based, and actual paranormal investigators. Another extra included behind-the-scenes interviews with the director, writers, and cast.
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This is a pretty good movie. Myself and my daughter locked ourselves in my bedroom, turned out all the lights and cranked up the surround sound. I'm not really into ghost movies (because they really creep me out) but I decided to tak a chance with this one, and to be honest I'm glad I did. It was just scary enough to make me look forward to watching the sequel.
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on June 5, 2016
I have kinda been shying away from the horror genera for a few years now, some of it is personal, and some of it is the fact that there are just too many recycled stories. All horror films are basically the same, the stories just differ, so I suppose it is just getting harder and harder to come up with new twist and turns in the journeys on the way to the end of the ride. This one, however, was good, even though it was the same basic tale of "family moves to a new place, new place has bad juju, new place is cleansed, and all is well with the world. Same story, but It held my attention a little more than the rest of them. It was well done, and the cast did a great job. I have been a fan of James Wan ever since SAW so I gave it a chance and I was not disappointed.
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on June 1, 2016
Great movie to watch in the dark... wish there was more jump scares... however, it has been an improvement from other horror movies in the past few years. I enjoyed it and I had a few chills. I did watch this under the influence of alcohol and it did scare me but if i was sober i think it would not be as scary as i wanted it to.... I watch horror films often on neflix and hulu, as far as jump scares i give it a 6 out of 10.... idk.... it could have been better... the story was a little too slow and could have added more "goose bumps" or heart pumping suspense..... overall... it was a 6 out of 10... I am a pretty gullible person and i dont think i will have any nightmare or uneasy feeling tonight...
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