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The Conjuring (2013)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 186
Fresh: 160 | Rotten: 26

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

86

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

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

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 148,276

My Rating

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

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes

Oct 22, 2013

$137.4M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (186) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (160) | Rotten (26) | 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.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An Overlook Hotel-sized creepshow that is genuinely frightening.

June 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
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.

January 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Verge
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.

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

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

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

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

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

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

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
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.

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
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.

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Times
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.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

It's atmospheric, terrifying, and brilliant in its intricately placed bouts of horror and suspense.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Director James Wan, best known for creating the Saw franchise, delivers his finest work to date. Instead of relying on the graphic, slasher-style techniques that made Saw a hit, Wan turns to old-fashioned suspense, and the payoff is big.

October 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

Better-than-average demon movie goes bump in the night

October 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

The Conjuring is a well-crafted throwback to old school horror films, and the scares are unrelenting, but fans of the genre may find themselves guessing what is coming next.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Easily one of the best horror films I've seen in years.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Even in the dark, it's clear where this is going -- but Wan does know his way around a haunted house.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

With any luck, The Conjuring will lead potential future horror filmmakers raised on a diet of torture porn and slasher films to rethink their approach. One can hope, at least.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

Wan takes some unpromising ingredients and cooks it with style, tension and heart-stopping surprise moments.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for The Conjuring

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.
June 5, 2014
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.
March 17, 2014
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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).
March 13, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

It's nice to see a well made traditional horror movie these days and that is exactly what The Conjuring is. It's nothing revelatory, but it is an effectively creepy spooky house film with good acting and a story that doesn't insult the intelligence of its audience like most horror films do. The characters act logically and are even well developed so that the audience is invested in the outcome of the plot. That doesn't usually happen in horror films anymore. It's entertaining and keeps your attention the whole time, even if it takes a little while to get going. One of the better horror movies of the past couple years.
February 15, 2014
jlewis07

Super Reviewer

    1. Ed Warren: Sometimes it's better to keep the genie in the bottle.
    – Submitted by Frances H (37 days ago)
    1. Drew: You can't shoot a ghost.
    – Submitted by Jill K (3 months ago)
    1. Christine: No, no! It talked to me.
    – Submitted by Marjorie N (11 months ago)
    1. Suicide Maid: You made me do this.
    – Submitted by Hans P (11 months ago)
    1. April: When the music stops, you'll see him in the mirror standin' behind you.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. April: When the music stops, you'll see him in the mirror standing behind you.
    – Submitted by Joey O (11 months ago)
View all quotes (34)

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