Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Lily Taylor finds something worth investigating

THE CONJURING (2013). Director: James Wan.

When Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor; Ron Livingston) and their several children are subjected to frightening supernatural events in a new house they've moved into, they call on [real-life] psychic researchers and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson). That's the plot of this rather dull horror flick that purports to be "based on the true story." Yeah, right. The Warrens also "investigated" the now thoroughly debunked Amityville Horror hoax, and this movie is little more than a retread of that film -- you get the little girl with the imaginary friend, doors that open by themselves, hidden rooms and a spooky basement; no cliche is left unturned -- and The Exorcist. How this completely unoriginal and rather tedious movie -- even when it gets "exciting" near the end it's still a bore -- got good reviews from some critics [or got some people to proclaim it was the "scariest" film they ever saw] is beyond me. The actors are all okay, but they'd be advised to be choosier about their projects in the future. The Conjuring, like the equally sub-literate Amityville Horror, made enough money for a sequel [and I suppose a remake in about twenty years], but it's not the kind of movie that exactly enhances anybody's career. It's not even that well directed. The only funny moment is at the very end when the Warrens take off to meet a priest who wants to talk to them "about a house on Long Island."

Verdict: Schlock feeding off schlock. *.

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