Film Review: The Conjuring (Had Trouble Sleeping After Watching)

Films involving possession freak me out, and The Conjuring was no exception. Atmospheric and Chilling. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone who enjoys a spooky haunted house story.

conjuringI didn’t get to see The Conjuring on the big screen. Similar to the Ethan Hawke horror film, Sinister, family and friends refused point blank after seeing the trailer, and there was no way in hell I was going alone. After watching it on the small screen, I am glad I never got to see it in the cinema.

Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lily Taylor and Ron Livingston) move with their five daughters to a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. It’s 1971, times are tough for the family and they’ve put all their investments into the house. When things start to go wrong, there’s nowhere for them to go.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play real life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. The Warrens do their best to help the Perron family deal with the malevolent spirit in their house, despite the fact that Lorraine is still recovering from a demonic attack. Before we get to the Perron’s story, we see the Warrens at work, helping a couple of young women who have been targeted by a demonic force. The doll, “Annabelle”, with its wide smile and evil eyes gave me the chills. The fact that the Warrens keep every item touched by demonic energy or spirits in their basement, in the house they share with their young daughter, horrified me. Surely that’s asking for trouble, I thought. Surely they’re going to pay for that sooner or later…

What sets this apart from other haunted house stories are the performances from all actors, both the adults and the children. As a viewer I liked this family and wanted them to be safe. The parents are deeply disturbed and fearful for the safety of their kids. The paranormal investigators also come across as sincere and genuine. I found myself grateful that they were helping this family. One of the daughters wakes up nightly to find the sheets being pulled off her bed. She sees a terrifying presence standing behind the bedroom door, but her sister can’t see anything. What happened later kept me from sleep the night I watched this. When the investigators arrive, they see glass picture frames broken. Carolyn explains she gave up hanging them on the walls as something would just throw them off. Her husband, Roger, talks about the knocking, always coming in sets of three,  a demonic sign.

The costumes, the house, the music, all add an authenticity. The tension is palpable. If you’re a fan of haunted house movies that genuinely provide scares, then go watch this. To sum up, The Conjuring = Delicious Spookiness. *****

Has anyone seen this one?


About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
This entry was posted in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Film Review: The Conjuring (Had Trouble Sleeping After Watching)

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I’m completely with your friends and family on this one, Emma. After seeing the trailer I had zero desire to see it. Like you, films on possession totally freak me out. And after reading your review, there is NO WAY anyone could talk me into seeing it now *shudder* Waaaay too spooky for me! All I have to say is you’re a far braver soul than I am 🙂

  2. Jen Naumann says:

    Possessions always freak me out too! And I also loved this film. Great acting, great story line, could live with the ending (for once). Sadly, my 14-year-old daughter didn’t think it was “that scary”, which probably disturbed me more…

    • Emma says:

      Hi Jen. The younger generation probably don’t scare as easily as us old fogies. 😉 I knew you’d love it. You reviewed it on your blog when it came out, I think?

  3. I saw this on the big screen and threw a full pint of beer over myself when I jumped at one point!

  4. laurajc83 says:

    Emma, I love u, but not a hope in hell can u bring me to horror films in general, not a mind to say this one!! Just saw the trailer on youtube…….3 words – oh………dear………..Jesus!

    • Emma says:

      I know. I don’t even ask you anymore girl, though I do appreciate you coming to Paranormal Activity with me. 🙂 Even Emma O won’t go to horrors anymore. Ha ha, good reaction to the trailer.

  5. Shannon says:

    No, I have not seen it. And your review tells me why. I have enough problems sleeping. 🙂

  6. I enjoyed this one, but it didn’t get to me like it has so many other people I’ve talked to. I think Sinister got me more… horror/scary movies just don’t “scare” me anymore. Maybe I’ve seen too many of them?

    • Emma says:

      I still love haunted house stories, and I think this got me so well because of the acting. The family felt genuine like they could be real people. Not sure I believe the whole true story thing, but nevertheless The Conjuring worked for me. Tiffany, Sinister freaked me out, big time.

  7. beckyday6 says:

    Eeesh, just the poster/DVD cover creeps me out! Think I might be too much of a scardy cat for this one. :S

  8. I can’t wait to see this movie. Now even more so from your review. I’ve been on Netflix so much I didn’t even know this was out. Now I’m off to not do more editing on my WIP 🙂

    • Emma says:

      Let me know how you get on with it. I’d suggest lights off and a few cold beers.
      Good luck with the non-editing. I’ve been doing that a lot lately too.

  9. I love haunted house stories. I’ve contemplated seeing this one, but I’m a little scared to. My husband generally doesn’t like this type of film, but he would probably watch it with me if I asked. NO WAY am I watching it alone. I think I’ll go check out the trailer.

    • Emma says:

      I know you love these kinds of stories, Lauralynn. I probably watched it on a bad day or something, and it seemed scarier than it was. 🙂

  10. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve tried to post a comment here since yesterday? I’m surprised I have any hair left. We’re having such bad weather with relentless rain, it’s caused havoc everywhere. My plot is almost inaccessible and it all looks like crap. A marsh really. Anyway, I haven’t seen this, Emma, but I showed my son your post and he turns to me and, yes, gave me the ‘eye’! Why? Because according to him, I didn’t pay attention when he told me he has this movie and he loved it. He takes after me in the horror/haunted/paranormal and so on department. Anyway, guess what I will be watching this weekend? I’ll get back to you on this one. Already the goosies have started!

    Have a super weekend. *this comment had better go through, or else I’ll scream bloody murder*

    • Emma says:

      Aw, Sandra, you should have given up. Sorry! I don’t know why my blog gives you trouble when commenting. You’re a saint for persevering. What is it with all the storms recently? Cork was flooded again in the last couple of weeks. The weather is gone bat shit crazy.

      Enjoy watching The Conjuring ;make your son sit down with you. 🙂 I’d recommend a blanket, hot tea or a glass of wine, and some nibbles. Have fun.

      • I’m nothing if not tenacious when I want something done! I can be quite painful, really, lol. Yeah, it seems to be world over. I’ve a cousin in Portugal and apparently it’s just as horrific there with all the floods. I might send you a photo or two of what my place looks like. Quite awful to say the least. Anyway…

        So, I watched The Conjuring yesterday… all alone as Ayrton had already seen it. This reminded me of why The Exorcist gave me nightmares (but I watched it over and over nevertheless). I can watch a lot of things, but anything on possession makes my mind go bat crazy. Yikes. I’ll still watch it, though, although I have moments when it will freak me out too darn much. The Conjuring was scary as these things are and I was quite rattled thereafter, and I watched it in the afternoon! However, as it’s permanently raining and so overcast it’s dark, it felt like night regardless. I had two coffees while watching, lol, and bit my nails some. You’re spot on with your review, Emma. The only actor I wasn’t keen on was Ron Livingston (Roger – the father), because for some reason – for me – he just didn’t come across as ‘intense’ enough. Now Lily Taylor (Carolyn – the mom) was brilliant, but she is a good actress. Also, Vera Farmiga (Lorraine) was just as fabulous, but then she’s also a good actress. The kids were all amazing and very convincing. I think all the females in this movie did a superb job. The pulling of the leg constantly when the one kid was asleep? I made sure to tuck my duvet in at the end of the bed last night (real tight), and I made sure neither of my feet stuck out. Plays with one’s mind…

        As for Lorraine and Ed keeping all that possessed stuff in their house… yeah, what were they thinking? I’d never sleep… ever!!! And the Anabelle doll? Freaking creepy, gosh.

        So glad you reviewed this, which made me watch it! 🙂 Thanks.

      • Emma says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed/were scared watching The Conjuring. I was afraid my review may have made it seem scarier than it actually was. Lol about tucking your legs in. I always do that anyway. I think if you leave your legs dangling by the side of the bed, you’re just asking for trouble.

        Maybe the father was just overwhelmed, surrounded as he was by so many women. My poor Dad was the same, living in a house with four daughters and his wife. 🙂

      • Sorry! Leaving you another comment, lol. Wanted to ask if you’ve seen ‘6 Souls’ with Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale in The Walking Dead)? I saw this at the beginning of January. I thought it was brilliant and the plot kept me riveted. Has a dose of possession but souls, horror, suspense, and it’s dark. Amazing acting by JRM. Well, I think so anyway. Mind you, the whole cast was on point, and I adore Julianne Moore anyway. :p

      • Emma says:

        I have seen that film. It was quite good, as far as I remember, but I think I lost interest in the last third. The cast was great. I think Jonathan and Julianne are brilliant too.

  11. debsmerry says:

    The Conjuring, Oh dear Emma it seems all were correct you cannot be left alone to watch a horror film, I am intrigued a must see sometime when though I do not know I have just spent two days on a catch up with The Originals oh my I love but driving my hubby nuts with all these taped programmes. But you Emma I wonder is it safe for you too watch horrors at all, Emily Rose was a nightmare (stamped unsafe for Emma), so The Conjuring what has it done or do to you this time.
    PS Thanks for the pop in notices it needs a shift around awake up call (time hmm) problem

    • Emma says:

      Hi Debs. The Conjuring was more a haunted house story than a film about possession like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so I found it easier to watch. I love The Originals too. The fact that it’s set in New Orleans helps.

  12. Sue says:

    No I didn’t see the film I’ve sent you a message on your contact form
    And the cover for Dark Whiskey – and the title – is breathtaking

  13. Pingback: Film Review: Lake Mungo – Deeply Unsettling | Emma's Ramblings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s