For those of us who like spooky movies, it's sounding like The Conjuring may well be worth the ticket price. I've been interested in this film since I saw the (nerve-wracking) trailer in a movie theater a few weeks ago, and when I read up on the supposed true story behind the script, it creeped me out even more -- but I figured there was a good chance it would turn out to be a disappointment once it hit theaters.
As it turns out, The Conjuring racked up an impressive $41.5 million in its opening weekend. This haunted-house frightfest, which is reportedly complete with all the standard things that go bump in the night -- disturbing toys, creaky floorboards, stopped clocks, wary pets, sleepwalking, and of course that true story disclaimer -- is also enjoying some serious critical acclaim. Based on a number of published reviews, here are ten reasons you should see The Conjuring if you want to get scared silly this summer.
It's scary from the getgo:
It takes almost no time for “The Conjuring” to immerse the viewer in its spell, as it teases seemingly minor jolts into frissons of terror, and turns a simple game of hide-and-seek into a tour de force of sustained excitement. -- Variety
The sights and sounds will freak you right the eff out:
The musical score sets a menacing tone and is also an effective tease, changing things up to avoid tipping off the audience. As action builds, the camera work seems to get a little shakier and rise to impossible angles, as if the demons are handling the cinematography as well. -- SFGate
Expect high tension:
There are exquisitely eerie sequences here. At one point a burly off-duty cop brought in by the Warrens washes a coffee cup in the Perrons’ kitchen. Wan frames the shot so the window over the sink is prominent. You can’t take your eyes off the window, convinced that something awful must be about to smash through it. Wan draws out the suspense, elaborates the scene with a digression that doubles down the tension, and pays it off with a jab-hook-uppercut of shocks that leaves your popcorn forgotten on your lap. -- StarTribune.com
Wan carefully crafts each set piece so that each visual punch has maximum impact from a nerve-shredding musical soundtrack from composer Joseph Bihara. Sometimes, that includes making the audience think something is coming. When it doesn't, the audience relaxes -- only to be whacked by a fright when they least expect it. -- San Jose Mercury News
Haunted house scares are turned up to eleven:
The film utilizes a veritable toolkit of haunted house tricks to ratchet up expectation and fear -- from the standard bumps in the night, stopped clocks, bad smells and eerie whispers that horrorphiles all love -- all the way up to a twist on hide and go seek that will handily ensure that you'll never hear clapping the same way again. It's both crafty and crafted, which is what makes its heart-stopping final act so jarring and so terrifying, as it veers firmly away from classic "boo!" moments and delves deep into far more psychological terrors. -- MSN
The fear is psychological, not gore-based:
An uncommonly intense and frightening experience, The Conjuring is the first genuinely scary release in ages by a major studio that features practically no violence and spills only a bit of blood. -- Miami.com
It doesn't show too much:
Monstrous figures are shown sparingly, rendering them that much scarier. -- USA Today
The familiar scary-movie territory doesn't mean you can relax:
Even as Wan employs familiar fright tactics, he brings to the material an evident emphasis on chilling iconography and careful rhythms, as opposed to leaning on money shots and hokey mythology to generate forgettable jolts. All the contorting girls and pea-soup vomit in the world can hardly compete with a blood-stained sheet and a well-placed doll. Sure, we’ve seen swarms of birds, levitating furniture and chaotic third-act exorcisms before, but even down to its very last shot, “The Conjuring” demonstrates a scary — and welcome — amount of care. -- Film.com
It's custom-built for true horror buffs:
This is a midsummer gift to those who genuinely appreciate movies that startle and unsettle. For those who like real horror, this is a don't-miss. -- ReelViews
It scared the living crap out of me. -- Rolling Stone
Have you seen The Conjuring yet? How scary was it?
Image via Warner Bros