It's generic and lazy as storytelling, but this time there's almost enough playful camerawork to distract from the feeble conception.
Wan has gotten very good at crafting those creepy moments; now he just needs to apply them to a more interesting story.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The sound effects are the aural equivalent of a 21st century form of digital diarrhoea, guaranteed to leave the hairs on the back of your neck suffering from erectile dysfunction.
| Original Score: 2/5
This saga of demonic possession deploys the full audio firepower of modern multiplexes, and does so with brain-battering frequency, like a ghostbusting version of a Japanese Taiko drum ensemble.
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.
| Original Score: 2/4
You've seen it before, you'll see it again.
| Original Score: 6/10
A character declares, 'God brought us together for a reason!' Too bad it was for this movie, another over-hyped horror flick rehashing a four-decade old storyline.
| Original Score: D
Could it be director James Wan was just a little too reverential? Because just when we couldn't need a chill down the spine more, this carefully made horror story delivers way too late in the game.
Haunted-house tales don't come more imitative than The Conjuring, which doesn't emulate demonic-infestation and possession tales like The Amityville Horror and The Exorcist so much as operate as a veritable compendium of their myriad tropes.
Watching "The Conjuring" is like getting a tour of a haunted house attraction from someone that pushes, and pulls you through every room.
| Original Score: 1/4
"The Conjuring" wants Dan and Lorraine to seem like Indiana Jones-style hunters of the supernatural, but in this basic jolt-provider, they're as fascinating as the Jersey Devil.
Here is a humdrum hunk of am-dram Gothic, lent prestige by a few specious avowals of its basis in a true exorcism case.
Any hints of a smarter agenda serve to cloud the main one: "The Conjuring" has been engineered to freak you out.
| Original Score: C+
Advance word that this would be the scariest horror since Amityville proves well wide of the mark.
Like a game of spot the cliche.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
[Wan's] entire film is possessed - by other films.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Every hand that reaches into a wardrobe, every nervous trip into that basement just gets on your nerves. Satan needs to get over himself.
The poster for The Conjuring boasts "from the director of Saw and Insidious", which was a much wiser choice than "from the writers of The Reaping".
These things run on faith, not reason, like the silly amateur exorcism that will have to be intoned when a priest is too far away and the silly scientific paraphernalia carted around.
Though The Conjuring claims to be based on a true story, in truth it's based on every horror film that's come before it.