After a couple false starts (namely, that we went to the wrong theater at noon yesterday), Spouse and I made it to a 10 PM showing of The Conjuring.
I love horror movies. I’m also used to them getting godawful reviews. The Conjuring is one that got really good reviews. It came as a surprise to me, because after the horrific overdub on one of the trailers, I had almost zero inclination to see it.
Seriously. It was that bad.
But once the reviews started coming in, I decided to see it. It’s incredibly rare that a horror movie gets good critical response, and even more people were saying that it scared the pants off of them. Last night we finally got to see it! Whee! What follows here is not so much review as my thoughts on the movie and reflections, etc.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BELOW. CONSIDER YOURSELVES WARNED.
I enjoyed the hell out of this movie.
I love Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor, so knowing the three of them were in it was a big joy already. I also have always loved a good ghost-y story, and to this day, I think The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of my favorite scary movies.
The film exceeded my expectations in many ways. There were a few jump scares, but mostly I thought that there was a really good build of tension. While there was a decent amount of exposition at the beginning and the Annabelle doll ended up being the revolver on the mantlepiece that never went off, I enjoyed the plotting and the structure of the film and how the storylines of the Perrons and the Warrens intertwined.
What I Loved
Five daughters, two adult women. This was probably the first horror movie I’ve seen in a while that had a female majority cast. It passed the Bechdel test with flying colors (8+ named female characters who interacted with one another and spoke about things besides men), and as an interesting little sidebar, it also passed a reverse Bechdel with more than two named male characters who interacted with one another and spoke about things besides women. So…score on that for equality.
The daughters were a lot of fun, and holy shit, that little Joey King who played Christine can act. Her scene where she first sees the entity after it almost pulls her off her bed was KILLER. Carolyn Perron and Lorraine Warren were both great characters to me.
One big thing I loved was that ultimately, it was the strength and determination of Carolyn and Lorraine that saved both of these families. They were not objectified or marginalized, and Lorraine put her foot down when her husband Ed tried to make her leave to protect her. She stood her ground, she stayed put to do the right thing, and because of her sheer will, she was able to show a possessed Carolyn why she needed to fight. And Carolyn fought and kicked that ghost out of her body.
There were some seriously fierce female characters in this film, and that makes me happy.
Patrick Wilson. I love him. I loved this scene, because EEEEEE:
What I Didn’t Care For
There were some lines that felt way too cliché. Namely, Carolyn’s “they mean the world to me” was repeated a couple times, and it was meant to be affecting. Instead it just sort of came off as lazy. Though knowing that this movie was based in some form on a real life story, maybe the real Carolyn Perron did say exactly that. Now I feel like a jerk for calling it a cliché. But there it is.
I also feel like they had to throw the word “groovy” in there at least once, because 1971. It was a little silly, but it was also a little cute.
I mentioned it a bit before, but the whole Annabelle doll framing device (that lacked it’s end frame) really felt like seeing the revolver safely on the mantlepiece in the closing shot, having never gone off.
I had a lot of fun with this. It creeped me out, scared me, made me all tense and nervous-fluttery. It did everything I want a horror movie to do, for the most part. Spouse and I did leave the theater wondering why it was rated R. According to the MPAA (and the folks over at Screen Rant), it’s because the movie was just too damn scary to call PG-13. So…heh. Okay.
If you like scary movies, go see it! Then report back and tell me what you think. 😀
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