Perhaps we are all jaded when it comes to horror flicks. Most would say this generations horror movies are average on the scary level. Even the older horror movies like "The Exorcist" seem cheesy when compared to the visuals of today. "The Conjuring" is just another in a long line demonic/possession movies, and while the tag "based on a true story" sells tickets, it doesn't sell the story. Whether you believe in demons, or demonic possession or not, the possibility of it is enough to give you shivers.
"The Conjuring" is based on an investigation by Ed and Loraine Warren, who have been the top paranormal investigators around since the 60's. The Warrens are notably famous for investigating the Amityville Horror house, which was ultimately made into a movie (twice). The investigation detailed in "The Conjuring" takes place before Amityville, and as the movie claims, had been hidden away for years, "until now" (how lucky are we!?)
The movie starts off with a typical horror movie scenario, happy family moving into a new house (which always seems to be in the middle of the woods somewhere), dad has a new job, and of course the teenage daughter wants to move back to the city. And then the fun begins. The family starts experiencing strange smells, sounds, and even forceful spirits/demons almost immediately. Of course, the night the most disturbing incident occurs, the father is off on a work related trip, unable to protect his wife and five daughters from the demons.
The family calls in the Warrens to investigate. The Warrens begin to find signs of possession around the house immediately upon arrival. Accompanied by a technical assistant and a rouge police officer (who doesn't believe in ghosts), they begin investigating the house during various sessions. The Warrens confirm their beliefs, and begin trying to remove the presence from the home. But of course, this backfires (everybody knows demons don't like it when you ask them to leave). Long story short, the mother becomes possessed, and tries to kill her children.
Lets back up. This movie claims to be "based on a true story". Take that with a grain of salt. Checking into the "real story", the family actually claims their mother was never possessed (which was a HUGE part of the plot), and that they lived in the house for years (even before calling the Warren's), where the movie takes place over a much shorter period of time. Now, obviously, when you see a movie that claims to be true, you don't believe everything you see. Even in movies like "Catch Me If You Can", or "Goodfellas", claiming a movie is non-fiction is a great way to fill theater seats, but it's not really fooling anyone. In fact, there are several plot differences between the family's story, and the Warrens' story.
"The Conjuring" finished it's opening weekend in 1st place. The movie's score, visual effects, and solid cast made the movie entertaining. The story on the other hand was predictable from the get-go. It seemed as if the audience was waiting for a twist to happen, but alas, it never came. Call me crazy (or possessed), but the endless parade of possession movies have made me begin to hate possession movies. If only Linda Blair could star in every exorcism movie.