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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

The Conjuring 2013 Reviewed

Updated: May 12

Featured Image For The Conjuring 2013 Reviewed. The Conjuring 2013 movie poster depicting a haunted house under a gnarled tree.
Step into the eerie silence of 'The Conjuring' where the veil between worlds is thinnest.

Shadows slither across the screen like serpents, a symphony of whispers and creaks that crawl beneath your skin. "The Conjuring," a film by James Wan, isn't just a horror movie – it's a baptism of bone-deep fear.

The Conjuring Key 2013 Takeaways

  • The power of suggestion: The film demonstrates how suggestion and belief can amplify fear. The Perrons' anxieties and the Warrens' conviction fuel the haunting, making it stronger.

  • Evil is insidious: Evil in the film isn't loud and obvious. It builds quietly, manipulates the familiar, and preys on vulnerabilities, making it all the more terrifying.

  • Family is everything: The Perrons' bond is their greatest weapon against the darkness. Their love and desperation drive them to fight back.

  • Faith as a shield: The Warrens' faith is both a weapon and source of strength in their battle against evil. While not everyone shares their beliefs, the film illustrates the power of conviction.

  • The past lingers: Old houses carry histories, and those histories can be both benevolent and horrifying. The Perron farmhouse is steeped in a dark past that continues to haunt the present.

  • Skepticism vs. belief: The film explores the tension between skepticism (represented by Roger Perron) and belief (Lorraine Warren). This tension drives the investigation and conflict.

  • The unseen is terrifying: The film's most chilling moments occur when nothing overtly frightening is on screen. Wan's expert use of dread and atmosphere creates a fear of the unknown.

  • Trauma's lasting effects: Carolyn Perron carries emotional scars from her past that the demonic presence latches onto, exploiting her vulnerability.

  • Real-life horror: The "based on a true story" element adds a layer of unease. Knowing the film is rooted in the Warrens' case files makes everything feel more plausible and disturbing.

Woman scared watching The Conjuring 2013 horror movie
The only thing scarier than the movie... is what might be watching with her.

Some horror films roar with shock and gore, but "The Conjuring" works on a different level. It's the dread bubbling under the surface, the anticipation of a hand reaching from the darkness. Every creak of floorboard and flicker of light become harbingers of something sinister lurking just beyond sight.

Based on the real-life case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the film follows the Perron family as they move into a secluded farmhouse. An idyll shattered by unseen terrors. Young daughters hear whispers, feel phantom touches, and walk in their sleep--innocent victims of something ancient and terrible.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson embody the Warrens, their performances grounded and compassionate. They aren't thrill-seeking ghost hunters; they're warriors against a darkness that threatens faith and sanity. Their unwavering belief provides a beacon in the film's relentless gloom.

Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston as Carolyn and Roger Perron are the heart of the horror. Their desperation isn't a performance; it's a visceral reaction to the terror consuming their home and family. Carolyn, in particular, descends into a nightmare maelstrom of demonic possession, a harrowing portrayal of a mother pushed beyond the brink. This isn't a haunted house; it's an encroaching hell.

What makes "The Conjuring" so unsettling is its restraint. Wan isn't interested in cheap jump scares. He orchestrates a masterclass in escalating terror. The camera lingers on quiet corners, the silence heavy with the promise of revealed horror. Familiar objects, twisted by the demonic presence, turn menacing. A child's music box, a hide-and-seek game – all become conduits for malevolent forces.

Man watching The Conjuring, hands clenched in fear.
Even the toughest guys get scared sometimes.

James Wan Conjured Up One Of The Best Modern Horror Movies

The film's scares aren't disposable thrills. They lodge in the memory, twisting even after the credits roll. One of the most terrifying sequences involves nothing more than a pair of hands clapping beneath a blindfolded child. Yet, the scene thrums with terror born of the unseen.

Wan, having cut his teeth on films like "Saw" and "Insidious," understands the power of the human imagination. Our worst fears aren't splayed across the screen, they live within us, fueled by what Wan masterfully withholds.

But "The Conjuring" is more than just a scare-fest. It digs into profound questions of belief, doubt, and the terrifying possibility that evil isn't a metaphor, but something tangible and hungry. This battle of light against darkness is what elevates the film above mere horror into a terrifying exploration of the human spirit.

Yes, "The Conjuring" shares DNA with classics like "The Exorcist" or "The Amityville Horror." Its haunted house setting and tale of demonic infestation are horror genre staples. But Wan and the Hayes brothers (co-writers) imbue the familiar with a chilling freshness. The Warrens' investigation and Carolyn's harrowing possession become visceral, unforgettable experiences.

The film has its flaws. Some jump scares do feel out of place amidst the meticulous dread, and the final exorcism climax might lapse into slightly overblown theatrics. But these are minor bruises in an otherwise masterful work of fear.

"The Conjuring" is a reminder that true horror doesn't always lie in monsters or mayhem. It lies in the shadows of familiar spaces, in the flicker of the mundane corrupted by unseen forces. Its power lies in the lingering chill long after the lights come back on, proving that the most terrifying haunts are those that burrow into the mind.

And that is The Conjuring 2013 Reviewed. A modern horror film destined to be a classic. 

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews.

If You Liked The Conjuring 2013 You Might Also Like These Films

  • Insidious (2010): Another James Wan classic. A family moves into a new home and their son mysteriously falls into a coma. They soon discover it's not a medical condition, but something far more sinister. Shares "The Conjuring"'s focus on creeping dread and demonic entities.

  • The Exorcist (1973): The iconic horror film that set the standard for possession stories. When a young girl exhibits disturbing and violent behavior, her mother turns to two priests for an exorcism. Considered one of the scariest movies of all time, its influence is undeniable in "The Conjuring".

  • Sinister (2012): A true-crime writer moves his family into a house where a previous family was gruesomely murdered. He discovers a box of home movies that document the murders and other terrifying events. This film builds a similar atmosphere of slow-burn dread, with an overarching mystery drawing the viewer in.

  • The Amityville Horror (1979): Based on the controversial real-life haunting. A family moves into a house with a horrifying past, and they soon experience supernatural phenomena. Like “The Conjuring,” this film explores a classic haunted house trope and plays on the "based on a true story" element.

  • The Haunting (1963): A classic psychological horror masterpiece. A paranormal investigator invites a group of people with troubled pasts to stay in a notoriously haunted mansion. Focusing on atmosphere and ambiguity, its chills are more psychological than "The Conjuring", but the unsettling tone is similar.

The Conjuring 2013 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What makes The Conjuring one of the best horror movies? 

A: The Conjuring is considered one of the best horror movies for several reasons:

  • Masterful Atmosphere: Director James Wan creates an oppressive atmosphere of dread. He uses lingering camera shots, muted colors, and chilling sound design to make viewers feel uneasy even when nothing explicitly frightening is on screen.

  • Restrained Scares: Wan focuses on building tension rather than relying on cheap jump scares. This makes the moments of true horror much more impactful.

  • Strong Performances: Actors like Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, and Ron Livingston deliver believable, grounded portrayals. Their struggles against the supernatural feel authentic.

  • Based on a True Story: The film draws inspiration from the Warrens' case files, adding an extra layer of unease and blurring the line between fiction and reality.

Q: Who are the main characters in The Conjuring? 

A: The main characters in The Conjuring are:

  • Ed and Lorraine Warren: Real-life paranormal investigators portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, known for their work on numerous haunting cases.

  • The Perron Family:

  • Carolyn Perron: The mother, played by Lili Taylor, who becomes the primary target of the haunting.

  • Roger Perron: The father, played by Ron Livingston, who initially struggles to believe his family's claims.

  • The Five Daughters: Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April, who experience varying degrees of paranormal activity.

Q: Where is The Conjuring set? 

A: The Conjuring is primarily set in a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island, where the Perron family experiences the haunting.

Q: Who directed The Conjuring? 

A: The Conjuring was directed by James Wan, a master of modern horror known for his work on franchises like "Saw", "Insidious", and "The Conjuring" universe.

Q: What is the storyline of The Conjuring? 

A: The Conjuring follows the Warrens as they're called in to investigate the horrifying supernatural events plaguing the Perron family in their new home. The Warrens uncover a dark history and confront a malevolent entity that threatens the family's sanity and lives. The film culminates in a harrowing attempted exorcism.

Q: Is The Conjuring based on a true story? 

A: Yes, The Conjuring is inspired by the real-life case files of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, specifically their investigation of the Perron family haunting. However, as with many "based on a true story" films, certain elements have been dramatized for cinematic effect.

Q: What are some other movies directed by James Wan similar to The Conjuring? 

A: If you enjoyed The Conjuring, you might also like these James Wan films:

  • Insidious (and its sequels): Deals with astral projection and demonic possession.

  • The Conjuring 2: Another Warren case, this time set in England.

  • Annabelle: A spin-off featuring the creepy doll from the first film.

  • Saw: Wan's breakout hit, a very different type of horror, but showcases his early filmmaking talent.

Q: What makes The Conjuring a standout horror movie in terms of camera work and atmosphere? 

A: The Conjuring's camera work and atmosphere contribute heavily to its terrifying tone:

  • Slow, Creeping Shots: Wan often uses long, slow camera movements to create a sense of unease and anticipation.

  • Darkness and Shadows: Much of the film is shrouded in darkness, leaving viewers' imaginations to fill in the terrifying possibilities lurking just out of sight.

  • Dutch Angles: Wan occasionally uses tilted camera angles to disorient viewers and mirror the increasingly chaotic world the characters inhabit.

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