Review of The Conjuring

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Okay, Deadies, I rewatched The Conjuring like I said I would to reevaluate my original thoughts about it. If you’ve read my review of The Conjuring 2, you know that I was impressed with how scary and well-crafted it was, and how I thought it was better than the first one. So I did it. I watched the first Conjuring again, and I’m here to tell you that my original thoughts about it hold up.

Ed and Lorraine Warren go to a secluded farmhouse to help a terrorized family kick some demon’s ass back to Hell. James Wan did his standard fine job directing, obviously relishing the material by relying on the standard jump scares and haunted house creaks and groans. The fine actors Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor are endearing and obviously committed to the material enough that you certainly root for them. There were a few very good scares. Good stuff there.

But I had issues with the storyline. The writing was fine for the most part, but the story seemed a bit thin in the logic department in places. For instance, in one scene, the statement is made that Lili Taylor’s character, Carolyn Perron, has been demonically possessed, so they need to get her away from the house. Ahem. Really? Why? Certainly a demon from the fiery pit of Hell would not care less where that possessed person was specifically, only that they were inside them and behaving evilly.

And then, since the demon possessing Carolyn is, according to Lorraine Warren, targeting the children, they all pile into a car to go to a motel. Road trip. Together. So we have a terrorized family with a possessed Mommy who wants to kill the kids all going to a motel. What kind of continental breakfast would a woman possessed by a demon request? I joke, I joke.

And because of these little things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, I found myself impatient and slightly bored at the end. The silliness just kept getting increasingly silly rather than scary. If the writing could have better explained the inconsistencies in logic, I would have been okay with it.

By the time the credits rolled, I was left as disappointed as the first time I watched this film. I like the director, I like the actors and acting, I liked many of the scary elements, but the lapses in logic threw all of that off for me.

For a grade, where I would give The Conjuring 2 an A, The Conjuring gets a B- from me. I know that audiences and reviewers seem to like the first one better. I just thought the sequel was better.

Watch them both and see for yourself. If you think I’m full of crap, let me know. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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