The Horror Honeys: Witch Month ~ The Conjuring: Can The Old Become New Again?

Witch Month ~ The Conjuring: Can The Old Become New Again?

A Slasher Honey Witch Month Review by Chassity

The Conjuring (2013)

At long last, the time has come. Yours truly finally gets to review a James Wan film. 

I can already guess what you’re thinking, dear reader. That this is just going to be me waxing poetic about how talented and amazing James Wan is as a director, and how anything with his name on it just HAS to be perfection. Well, wait a second, because it just so happens that things are going to be a little different this time around. 

I’ve said before that The Conjuring is my least favorite Wan vehicle. In fact, it’s the only one I had only seen once (as opposed to multiple times a year like the others). And now I get to explain why.

First, the plot: Meh, you know the drill by now. An “average” family moves into a huge, old creaky house and, of course, inexplicable, creepy things start happening. And if that were all there was to it, then it wouldn’t just be my least favorite Wan film; it would be entirely forgettable. 

But, enter Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warren's, a husband and wife team whose specialty is dealing with cases just like this. They discover that property was, very long ago, the home of a witch. And not just any witch, but one who sacrificed her child to the devil, and before her suicide, she put a curse on any future inhabitants of the property (which has been divided up into different homes), and it now has had a history of murders and suicides occurring on the land - specifically the murder of children and the suicide of the mothers of those children.

Hypnotized by the Tim Burton swirl...
For what it’s worth, the first half of the film is entertaining, and there is indeed a healthy share of terrifying moments and patented jump scares. The movie also doesn’t suffer from a lack of likable characters, which is saying a lot considering my usual distaste for Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. But one of the good things about The Conjuring is that Ed and Lorraine Warren are faintly more interesting than other characters of this type in other supernatural films. They’re not just “we know everything, so let’s us handle this, doll. And if we can’t save you, then at least we get to gain some knowledge from this” types. They admit what they don’t know, they don’t come across as arrogant, and they are emotionally invested in their work and the people they’re helping. 

But to be honest… that’s about it. After the initial thrill when the story is developing and the supernatural entities are just beginning to make their presence known, there’s not much else to it. It’s really pretty generic and formulaic, as these kinds of movies go. 

I’ve already admitted to finding it frightening, but that’s mostly because it plays on a fear I had as a child. The idea of something being all around you and you might not even know - that’s as disturbing as it gets. But as an adult, once you’ve seen a couple of these, the curtains are pulled back on any lingering fear of the paranormal, of the unknown, and nothing worth a gasp or a nightmare remains. 
While The Conjuring had a lot of potential and a great backstory, it didn’t do enough with that potential, and it didn’t run with that backstory or make use of all it had to offer.

Girl... that wig... 
There are enough much better, more horrific James Wan films. Trust me, I would know. Skip this one and go watch one of them instead. 

Slasher Honey Rating: 1 out of 5 Hide and Clap Games

Dumbest idea ever.

The Conjuring is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu
Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

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