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The Conjuring (2013)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 196
Fresh: 168
Rotten: 28

Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 36
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 150,218

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Movie Info

Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. "The Conjuring" tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives. -- (C) WB

Rating:
R (for sequences of disturbing violence and terror)
Genre:
Mystery & Suspense , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
Chad Hayes , Carey Hayes
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Oct 22, 2013
Box Office:
$137.4M
Runtime:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for The Conjuring

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (168) | Rotten (28) | DVD (3)

Every hand that reaches into a wardrobe, every nervous trip into that basement just gets on your nerves. Satan needs to get over himself.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
Grantland
Top Critic

In The Conjuring, the scary casts out the spirit of the silly, permanently, and with a vengeance.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

The Conjuring uses every stock scare in the horror movie playbook for a dumb, yet charmingly traditional haunted house picture that manages to feel more retro than rehashed.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Wan builds mounting dread with silence and suspense, lingering the camera unsettlingly long here, creaking a door there.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Wan ... builds the many bumps in the night into a small Hitchcockian symphony of terror by way of long, eerie tracking shots, dramatic silences, and sudden scares that are frighteningly immersive.

Full Review… | July 29, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

...there were moments where it seemed the entire theater was holding its breath. We were united in one feeling: terror.

Full Review… | July 26, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

Wan uses every horror cliche with blithe confidence. He knows no one is immune if the effects are sturdily built, and not too literal.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Sydney Morning Herald

Sometimes it all comes down to craftsmanship. There's probably nothing you haven't seen before in director James Wan's The Conjuring, but rarely have you seen it done so well.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Metro

The Conjuring simply takes a standard story comprised of the usual components, and with warmth and commitment makes them not just palatable, but successful.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Trespass

It's solidly effective at bringing the scares, which is all it really sets out to do, right?

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Columbus Alive

Finely crafted and genuinely scary.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Courier Mail (Australia)

The trailer for The Conjuring is scarier than most horror features of recent vintage, and the feature makes good on the promise.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
San Diego Reader

Fans of old-school scary movies and J-horror, rejoice. James Wan's The Conjuring is going to scare the bejeezus out of you.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Boston Herald

Mainly, the movie wants to scare us, and it succeeds.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
PopMatters

Wan is basically just remaking his own Insidious with a few modest tweaks and a polyester wardrobe, and, just like that movie, The Conjuring gets progressively less scary as it goes along.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
NOW Toronto

This one never really takes hold and goes horribly wrong about 20 minutes before the end.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
The Australian

An Overlook Hotel-sized creepshow that is genuinely frightening.

Full Review… | June 27, 2014
Windy City Times

Leaving slashers behind for the murky uncertainties of the supernatural, James Wan has found a way to expand his talents while driving yet another modern genre shift.

Full Review… | January 22, 2014
The Verge

Director James Wan delivers effective scares, showing more interest in sinewy camera moves and building a slow creep than in mindless gore, but the performances are a mixed bag, and the script repeatedly seeks refuge in the familiar.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Sacramento News & Review

Advance word that this would be the scariest horror since Amityville proves well wide of the mark.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Independent

Despite having a fairly standard haunted house horror plot, James Wan has created a fun, scary and beautiful looking movie.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
IGN Movies

It is scary, and it conveys something even rarer in horror films -- the ring of truth.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Daily Mail [UK]

A strong cast and an atmosphere of real dread mean that despite a catalogue of immediately recognisable ghost devices, The Conjuring amounts to more than the sum of its scary parts.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Empire Magazine

There's nothing new or original about it, but it's entertaining enough, and one can't help but respect the craft that went into making something catchy out of component parts stolen from others.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Washington Times

[Wan] combines the ambiance of horror's leisure-suit heyday with the more recent brand of well-timed what's-that-in-the-mirror scares.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Conjuring

½

The Conjuring is a testament to all non-believers that creaking doors, dead silences, noises coming from other rooms, and dark cellars can still be creepy when done well. Director James Wan has always been very technically proficient, especially with creating tension. Here he's been given a great script that explores its characters, and exceptionally strong actors who not only have great chemistry together, they actually look terrified (this goes a long way for the audience).
This well told little horror film does not do anything particularly new. It's got ghost elements, a doll, and even an exorcism, but what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in being the most effectively scary film in recent memory. I had a blast watching it. There are images so expertly crafted, I actually gripped my theatre chair a few times. Plus, that Annabelle doll.....freaky! Great job all around. Finally a studio horror film that shows real ingenuity, craft, and respect for the horror genre.

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MovieGeek13
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

½

It is certainly frightening at moments, but the Conjuring plays it safe. Nothing here is new. Nothing here hasn't been done better by someone else. It delivers on an atmospheric level, and satisfies as far as the story goes. But the Conjuring still fails to do something which I desperately want from a horror film. A good horror movie will scare you for a few hours. The Conjuring is a good horror movie. But a great horror movie will last forever in the darkest corners of the mind. See Se7en (Seven), a movie that isn't even characterized under the horror genre, if you want to watch a movie that will truly horrify you.

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Nikhil N.
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

I've been a little leery of the horror genre over the past few years, only once in a while finding something I liked, but mostly just not giving hardly any of the movies the time of day just because they didn't seem appealing or worthwhile to me.

That applied to this movie initially, but, after hearing so much about it (almost all of it good), I decided to give it a chance, and found myself pleasantly surprised.

Based on the actual case files of infamous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, this is the story of their efforts to aid a troubled family in a troubled home in New England...a case that took place before their legendary work on the Amityville Story.

This came out in 2013, but, true to it's 1970s setting, this feels like a 70s film, and I mean that in a very positive way. It's a major throwback to haunted house ghost story films of that era, and, other than a few moments here and there, relies primarily on mood, tone, and atmosphere to generate tension, suspense, and scares-something I highly commend James Wan and Co. for.

And, while I don't think it's one of the scariest films ever, it is quite intense, creepy, and unsettling. I like too, how it does all that in largely subtle ways. It doesn't try too hard to be scary. It just is.

The story is very engaging, and, while the pacing is unhurried, it's never boring or drags. You care about the people and what happens, and a number of the characters are decently well developed and sympathetic. I know, everything I'm praising this film for is stuff that normally should be a given, not an exception, but unfortunately that's just how things seem to be these days.

The cinematography and editing are terrific, I loved the sound design and tone, and, also rare for horror films, we get some pretty solid performances, especially from Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor are also fine, as are the child actresses, but this is by and large the E and L Show.

Definitely give this one a look. It's awesome.

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cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

The Conjuring is a mix of similar horror sub-genres which works well as far as story goes but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Horror films are remembered for the fright scenes, the real talent comes in making the most of the scenes in-between. The Conjuring goes so far in doing this successfully but doesn't go far enough. What is nice to see for a change is some proper character development, both Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the Warrens adding an extra element to the dimensions of the classic haunted house story. The fright scenes aren't really worth the wait though unfortunately and there are so many cliches its just not funny (or scary, obviously).

More
SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

The Conjuring Quotes


Roger Perron:
I don't know what you are! But you leave my wife alone damn you!
Bathsheba:
She's already gone.. And now your all gonna die
– Submitted by Connor N (32 days ago)
Ed Warren:
Sometimes it's better to keep the genie in the bottle.
– Submitted by Frances H (4 months ago)
Drew:
You can't shoot a ghost.
– Submitted by Jill K (6 months ago)
Christine:
No, no! It talked to me.
– Submitted by Marjorie N (14 months ago)
Suicide Maid:
You made me do this.
– Submitted by Hans P (14 months ago)
April:
When the music stops, you'll see him in the mirror standin' behind you.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (14 months ago)

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