I’ve been hesitating about reviewing this movie, mainly because trying to review it means having to recall parts of the movie and then I get all sorts of creepy imagery going on in my head, but oh well, I guess it’s a risk I’ll have to take.
If you know me good/long enough, you’ll know that horror movies are not my kind of thing. In fact, I believe the last time I saw a movie that would be classified as horror was probably in high school (that would be about 10 years ago), and that only because I had no choice. It was a class-outing sort of thing. Anyway, no horror movies for me, thank you. So what gives? Answer: boyfriend. My first ever movie date, y’all! I could totally get used to it. The movie dates, I mean, not the horror movies. But I digress. Let’s get back to the horror movie in inquisition. Err, I mean in question.
The Conjuring. Meet the movie poster:
Goodness gracious that is one creepy poster right there. On a side note, I only saw the poster when we have reached the theatre and bought the tickets, so it’s not like I could back out of it now, despite his continuous teasing. Now, I had agreed on watching this movie mainly because we didn’t have any other choice considering the showtimes. Well, okay, we could’ve opted for Smurfs 2 but who wants to go on their first movie date ever and watch Smurfs?? Err, yeah, no. The Conjuring it is, despite everything I’ve read so far about how scary this movie is. By everything I’ve read, I mean tweets from various friends who’ve watched it, because obviously I don’t go around trying to find information about a movie I never planned to watch. So, went inside and sat down preparing myself for the worst… but as it turns out…
SPOILER ALERT (possibly)
The Conjuring was not nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. I mean, yes, there were a lot of seriously creepy imagery and heart attack inducing moments, CLAP CLAP to the director, but there were too many things that were in fact bordering comedic for it to be (what I expect) a horror movie (to be). Well, okay, I guess since it’s mainly based on a true story, you can’t really say anything about how the story goes, or can you?
In any case, I found myself terribly disappointed of the ending. I mean, there I was, waiting for someone other than Sadie and some random birds to die a gruesome death, but instead everyone was hugging and laughing like nothing happened like… as I tweeted that night… the director thought “okay, we scared enough crap out of people, now let’s give them a happy ending!” — I mean, I’m happy that everything worked out well for them (especially for the real family, goodness!) but this was supposed to be a horror movie, dang it! And I’m not even a fan of horror movies!!
And now may I continue to the series of other problems I had with this movie?
- Annabelle, the doll who is so creepy it had to somehow be included in this movie despite the fact that there’s actually no connection whatsoever between her story and the rest of the story. What happened here? Did the director perhaps want to make a movie about the doll and decided that there’s already enough movies about possessed dolls around (the whole Chucky series, among others, and no, I have not seen any of them)? Also, I can’t get my mind around the fact that they decided to have the doll itself be ridiculously scary when the actual Annabelle is actually a cute Raggedy Ann Doll. I mean, I would understand people having compassion for Raggedy Ann, but why on earth would those two nurses in the beginning of the movie even HAVE a doll that looks like that?
- The exorcism that turned out to be way easier than anyone would’ve thought. Because it’s problematic. We were repeatedly told that exorcisms are dangerous and must be treated with highest regards, and that only a priest could perform it, and the Vatican needs to approve it first, and so on and so forth, and yet at the end of the day Ed Warren led his first exorcism ever, done against what was supposed to be their most horrific demonic power ever, and he actually succeeded! What the… WHAT?! Okay, so the exorcism didn’t go too smoothly and eventually it was a combination of “outside” forces as well as “inside” forces namely love for one’s family that got the evil spirit away, which is a great metaphor if you ask me, but I’ll save the theological reflection for some other time, but nevertheless they got the demon away. The super powerful demon that’s been haunting the house for ages and has caused more deaths than anyone could have imagined, driven away with badly pronounced Latin (yes, I have serious problems with bad pronunciations)!
- The lack of spirits haunting the house. Wait, what? Yes, seriously. If there have been so many gruesome deaths in that house/area, then why do we only have Bathsheba and Rory, and possibly Rory’s mom and the maid? Now that I mentioned the maid, can someone please explain what the maid has to do with anything? What did Bathsheba make her do, considering that all Bathsheba does is possess mothers to kill their children? In any case the scene with the maid was seriously out of place and I fail to see any connection between her and the rest of the story. Well, except maybe to make the cop (what’s his name again? Drew?) believe in spirits, but then again he was still semi-skeptical afterwards, wasn’t he?
- The hide and clap game scene. Who was hiding in the closet, since it was supposed to be Rory’s hiding place and yet it was definitely not Rory clapping out of the closet. Also, who pulled Christine’s leg, and who attacked whatshername from above the closet? And how did Rory’s music box get out of his hiding place? Also, did anybody notice that there was a hanging/swinging chair at the terrace in one scene and yet afterwards there was a normal chair in it’s place? I know it doesn’t have anything to do with the story but still.
- The clocks stopping at 03:07 — why 03:07, and why was there that one time when the clocks didn’t stop?
- The technology used by the Warrens. I mean, I don’t know, but some of the tools seemed a bit advanced for the 1970s, don’t you think?
- The creepiness of the Warrens… and April. Because I spent most of the movie waiting for the Warrens to be revealed as some sort of evil entities. Same with April. Speaking of April how did she get under the kitchen floor and how did she find that locket she later returned to Lorraine? Oh, okay, I guess maybe Rory helped her.
I can probably go on, since the more I think about it the more mysteries seem to pop-up. Let it be said, however, that I don’t think the movie is a bad movie. I mean, it is quite obviously intense and deeply engaging (hey, look at how many details I remember!), yet I don’t think it merits all the praise (or rather, frightful screams) it has been given.
As my movie-watching-partner mentions, it is more of a family movie with a horror tone to it. Although the imagery is probably a bit too much for the younger viewers. Poor things might have serious nightmares and end up sleepwalking. At the end of the day, perhaps instead of The Conjuring, we might want to call it The Confusing instead.
PS: Speaking of which, WHY is the movie called The Conjuring anyway? Who conjured what? Thoughts??