Box art for The Conjuring

The Conjuring

horror


Ghost hunters the Warrens help a family terrorized by a dark spirit.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    86%
  • Audience Score
    82%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Terrifying paranormal horror movie based on a true story.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax. But even though it's mostly based on suggestion, the scary stuff is terrifying. Language includes one "s--t" and a few other words but is infrequent. Sex isn't an issue, other than that a married couple is shown to be comfortable with each other in the bedroom (with a little mild innuendo). One character is shown to have drunk some whisky and fallen asleep at his desk. The main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, were real-life paranormal investigators.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about The Conjuring's violence and how it's presented. How much is actually shown? What's scarier -- lots of gore and blood, or "suggested" scares? Why?
  • What makes this movie scarier or less scary than other horror movies you've seen?
  • What do you think about the real-life aspects of the movie? Does the movie make you believe in ghosts and demons? Does it make you want to learn more about the Warrens?
  • Are the Warrens role models? How do they help out the Perron family?
  • What's the appeal of demon possession/exorcism movies? What do they have to say about the world?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    86%
    reviews counted: 22
    see all The Conjuring reviews
  • Audience

    82%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: As "The Conjuring" progresses, the scares don't register beyond standard issue horror gotchas. They're as telegraphed as the musical cues alerting you something spooky is about to happen.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rotten: It's generic and lazy as storytelling, but this time there's almost enough playful camerawork to distract from the feeble conception.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fresh: Wan ... builds the many bumps in the night into a small Hitchcockian symphony of terror by way of long, eerie tracking shots, dramatic silences, and sudden scares that are frighteningly immersive.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, July 29, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

It is certainly frightening at moments, but the Conjuring plays it safe. Nothing here is new. Nothing here hasn't been done better by someone else. It delivers on an atmospheric level, and satisfies as far as the story goes. But the Conjuring still fails to do something which I desperately want from a horror film. A good horror movie will scare you for a few hours. The Conjuring is a good horror movie. But a great horror movie will last forever in the darkest corners of the mind. See Se7en (Seven), a movie that isn't even characterized under the horror genre, if you want to watch a movie that will truly horrify you.

- nikhilnn95, Thursday, June 5, 2014

3 stars

It's certainly scary. I jumped more times during this film than I can remember. But while it is well-filmed and thrilling, it is has a mediocre script (rampant with horror movie cliches), wooden acting, and an unsatisfying ending. The middle and climax of the film do sweep you up in this downward spiral of "what else can go wrong?" and the film is successfully frightening and heart-pounding during these moments. But despite its efforts to be more than just any other horror film, it ultimately has very little substance.

- fb100000293612769, Thursday, August 1, 2013

5 stars

James Wan has delivered yet another phenomenal achievement with The Conjuring. He has come a long way since his debut feature Saw which was released in 2004. James Wan strength lies in the fact that he can craft a truly intense and creepy ghost tale, which is what we have here. Everything about the film is grand in scope. The plot is well constructed and the film boasts a powerful and tense atmosphere that will chill and terrify you. This is horror the way it's supposed to be. The cast do a fine job in their parts and the direction is superb. The film takes its time to build up the tension; therefore it's more harrowing, because you don't know when the scares will start. Everything you have in the film is unpredictable and is a harrowing intense and unforgettable film that is one of the finest examples of real terror that I have seen in a long time. The Conjuring is terrifying from start to finish and it is a film that will stay with you long after you've seen it. This is a fine picture that is the best genre film since The Cabin in the Woods. If you want something truly disturbing, then give this film a shot. James Wan has directed one of the finest films of his career, and he is quickly becoming one of modern horrors finest filmmakers. This is a superbly well executed picture that will delight die hard horror fans and give you a few sleepless nights. The Conjuring represents a bright future for the genre, where nowadays, it's mostly remakes and films that rely on clichs to create terror. This on the other hand is a smart horror will with a well written script, great cast and directing from a director who clearly understands how the horror formula works.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Thursday, August 1, 2013