Monday, February 10, 2014

Movie Review: The Conjuring - 2013

Please leave the ghost busting to "Ghostbusters" 

IMDB"The Conjuring" is similar to 1979's "Amityville Horror" in that it is allegedly based on a true story about a family that gets tormented by spirits right after they moved into a new home. Another similarity would be that the movie has a couple of ghost scenes that are quite creepy. However, I could not really get into it because - unlike "Amityville Horror" - the movie doesn't concentrate on the family but instead tries to establish two unlikely heroes from the most annoying demographic on the planet: paranormal investigators.

Said investigators are Lorraine and Ed Warren who, in the movie just as in real life, are a self-proclaimed medium and a self-proclaimed expert demonologist, respectively. They must be a real awesome experts, because not once during the movie does anyone dare to question their claims, whether the Warrens are lecturing large audiences or their clients. How does Ed Warren know there are human spirits and non-human spirits? How does he tell the difference? How does one become a demonologist anyway?

"The Conjuring" plays like a feel-good movie for fans of ghost hunting TV shows; all the claims about how the paranormal "functions" seem to have been taken straight from there. During the end titles, photos and newspaper articles are shown to convince the viewer once more that this was all really real. And, of course, the only skeptic in the movie is a doofus who in the end gets so lectured, haha.

But even if the movie didn't make me so aware that I was watching a piece of propaganda for fans of ghost hunting shows (and of the catholic church, for that matter), I would have had a hard time finding it overall scary. Because, in "The Conjuring", the supernatural isn't dreadful but trivial. The know-it-all investigators have an explanation for everything, and they fix the supernatural like a broken car. In fact, director James Wan even added a scene where Ed Warren and the dad are trying to fix an old car, as if to symbolize just that. Apparently, Wan deliberately missed the opportunity to make a genuinely disturbing movie and chose to make a fan movie for the Warrens instead. What a waste!

PS: Please, Hollywood, if you ever want to make a movie again about paranormal investigators, just make a "Ghostbusters" sequel. Oh, it seems they listened.

Rating: 4 out of 10 doors not-so-scarily opening by themselves.