The Conjuring Reviews

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Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 6, 2014
Every hand that reaches into a wardrobe, every nervous trip into that basement just gets on your nerves. Satan needs to get over himself.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 7, 2013
In The Conjuring, the scary casts out the spirit of the silly, permanently, and with a vengeance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Brown
Globe and Mail
October 7, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Cath Clarke
Time Out
July 30, 2013
Wan builds mounting dread with silence and suspense, lingering the camera unsettlingly long here, creaking a door there.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bruce Diones
New Yorker
July 29, 2013
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.
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Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
July 26, 2013
...there were moments where it seemed the entire theater was holding its breath. We were united in one feeling: terror.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2013
The horror movie is artfully crafted from the first scares to the closing credits, with a bold retro vibe.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 19, 2013
This is a horror film where a pair of suddenly clapping hands gives you the heebie-jeebies, and Wan doesn't cheat with his jump scares.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 19, 2013
Without recourse to the gruesome S&M excesses of his "Saw" franchise, Wan conjures the chill of a demon breathing down your neck.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 19, 2013
An uncommonly intense and frightening experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kate Erbland
MSN Movies
July 19, 2013
... it surpasses the hallmarks of its genre with an actually dramatic storyline and all-around solid acting. Just don't think you can go see it alone.
Full Review | Original Score: 4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 19, 2013
It scared the living crap out of me. Only at the movies is that a compliment. So kudos to The Conjuring for putting fresh fire into the overworked haunted-house genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 19, 2013
[Wan's] entire film is possessed - by other films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Adam Graham
Detroit News
July 18, 2013
As "The Conjuring" progresses, the scares don't register beyond standard issue horror gotchas. They're as telegraphed as the musical cues alerting you something spooky is about to happen.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 18, 2013
"The Conjuring'' depends more on its excellent cast and atmospheric direction than cheap gimmicks to raise hairs on the back of your neck. Which it does, quite frequently.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
July 18, 2013
[Wan] cuts The Conjuring into two halves -- an exhilarating haunted-house thriller and a grueling post-Exorcist horror film -- but they don't come back together in a living, breathing whole.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 18, 2013
Unexpectedly fresh, alive, and vibrant - and wonderfully traumatizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 18, 2013
One of the scarier haunted house/demon possession movies in recent years, it brings to mind '70s supernatural horror films such as The Exorcist with its stillness, steady build of suspense and handsome cinematography.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 18, 2013
The dread gathers and surges while the blood scarcely trickles in "The Conjuring," a fantastically effective haunted-house movie.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 18, 2013
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.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
July 18, 2013
Treads familiar territory, but with style.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 18, 2013
What saves the movie is a surprisingly fine cast and deft direction from James Wan, the horror veteran who gave us "Saw."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 18, 2013
With its forked tongue planted loosely in cheek, this haunted-house flick is enjoyably retro in both style and substance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
July 18, 2013
It's generic and lazy as storytelling, but this time there's almost enough playful camerawork to distract from the feeble conception.
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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 18, 2013
The damned thing works you so well that you may even consider leaving halfway through, for fear you'll have a heart attack.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 18, 2013
A trim, effective haunted-house spook show, "The Conjuring" is both a throwback to early-'70s real estate shriekers like "The Amityville Horror" and a big-studio response to the "Paranormal Activity" found-footage genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 18, 2013
Horror buffs will find [it] a highly satisfying, well-crafted film in a classical mode, with plenty of scares and very little gore.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 18, 2013
James Wan's haunted-house saga is well-crafted, convincingly acted, surprisingly restrained and scary as hell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
July 18, 2013
As an exercise in classical scare tactics, delivered through an escalating series of primo setpieces, The Conjuring is often supremely effective.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 17, 2013
If I was to use a single word to describe The Conjuring, it would be "intense."
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
July 17, 2013
Wan masterfully tightens the vise on the audience's nerves, using mood and sound effects for shocks that never feel cheap (the harmless kids' game of hide-and-clap has never been so bloodcurdling).
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 17, 2013
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 17, 2013
James Wan proves himself to be moving quickly up the ranks of terror auteurs. The timing, pacing and character movement are outstanding. And it's scary as hell.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
July 17, 2013
The Conjuring is an unusually sturdy piece of haunted-house genre filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
July 16, 2013
Working with cinematographer John R. Leonetti and editor Kirk Morri, Wan carefully crafts each setpiece so that each visual punch has maximum impact to a nerve-shredding musical soundtrack from composer Joseph Bihara.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 16, 2013
An "Amityville Horror" for a new century (and a far better movie than that 1979 hit), yet firmly rooted, without being slavish or self-conscious, in the visual language of 1970s filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
July 16, 2013
It takes a retro-fashioned winner like The Conjuring to remind us that if the creaky, old house ain't broke, don't fix it.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
July 15, 2013
Damned if director James Wan, the auteur of Saw's rusted-edge cruelty, isn't an ace with enjoyable spookhouse trap-springing.
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William Goss
Film.com
June 27, 2013
All the contorting girls and pea-soup vomit in the world can hardly compete with a blood-stained sheet and a well-placed doll.
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Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
June 26, 2013
Taut and effective edge-of-the-seat horror, delivered with style and an especially haunting performance by Vera Farmiga.
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Justin Chang
Variety
June 24, 2013
A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory.
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
June 22, 2013
The Conjuring doesn't try to reinvent the tropes of horror movies, whether it's ghosts or demons or exorcisms, but Fred Astaire didn't invent tap-dancing, either.