Friday, July 19, 2013

The Conjuring [2013]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (1 Star)  AVClub (B+)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars with. Expl)

IMDB listing
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review (S. Adams) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review

To be honest, I'm kinda sick of these movies.  That's not say that, The Conjuring [2013] (directed by James Wan, screenplay by Chad and Carey Hayes) is not, all things considered, one of the "better" movies about "things Demonic" to have come out in a while.  Yes, having seen it and reviewing it here now, I'd put it in the league of The Exorcist [1973] both in terms of presentation and historicity.  The case apparently was one taken-up by the husband and wife team of Ed and Lorraine Warren (played in the film by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), two Catholic lay people (who conducted their work with _some_ local Catholic Church approbation) who investigated such matters in New England in the 1960s-70s.

Having said this, however, I ask why put yourselves (and loved ones) through watching a film like this?  Either you believe that this kind of stuff can happen or you don't (I put myself in the first category, knowing "enough" to know that I DON'T KNOW "everything" and have I hope a healthy respect for both God, whom with every year I find myself honestly loving even clinging to more and more, and Evil, which I increasingly hope to avoid).  If you do believe in the possibility of this stuff, after a few films of this type, my guess is that many of you will start thinking like me, asking yourselves "Why another one of these kinds of films?"  And if you don't believe in the possibility of these things actually happening, well then ... this film, along with a countless number of others like it, are just a "carnival ride."

The one piece of advice that I got out of this film is simply: "Get your kid(s) baptized."  It would seem (and this would fit very well with Catholic theology on the matter) that if the family were all baptized, none of the awful things that were happening to them would have happened (or it would have been _much harder_ for the Evil to enter).  If you don't want to get baptized or have your kids baptized, I'm not Torquemada, I honestly respect your freedom, but well ... you've kinda chosen to be "on your own."  I'll pray for you, baptize you if you wish, bless your house if you wish ... but if you don't, well ... there we are ;-)

Okay then, what then is the story?  Set in the early 1970s, Roger and Carolyn Perron (played by Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor respectively) along with their five daughters Andrea (played by Shanley Caswell), Nancy (played by Hayley McFarland), Christine (played by Joey King), Cindy (played by Mackenzie Foy) and April (played by Kyla Deaver) move into a creepy-looking house by the water somewhere in rural Rhode Island.  A large family, they got the house "on the cheap" at a state auction (meaning it was foreclosed-upon/abandoned, no one wanted to live there...).

Well, they soon find out why... Indeed, their dog refuses to even enter the house.  They start hearing all sorts of cricks and cracks, and smell all kinds of strange, SULFUROUS smells at night.  Carolyn, the mother, starts waking up with all sorts of strange bruises across her body.  All the clocks in the house STOP EVERY NIGHT at exactly 3:07 AM.  One night, someone or something storms out of the house, smashing EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE FAMILY'S PICTURES OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR KIDS that they had hung up along the staircase going up to their bed rooms.  Finally, bruised-up Carolyn's had enough.  Roger, a truck driver, was going to go away on a job down to Florida-and-back for a week.  Before he leaves, she looks up Ed and Lorraine Warren and begs them to come to their home to tell them what the heck is going on.

After doing some research on the property, it turns out that the house/property has had a long and sordid history.  Hearing the sordid/creepy history of the place, it really wouldn't surprise anyone but the most ardent of skeptics that this house/property could the kind of place that would house a fair number of really angry, evil and vengeful spirits.  The rest of the movie follows ...

The film ends showing pictures of the actual Ed and Lorraine Wilson as well as the family with their five kindergarten to teenaged daughters.  Yup, it plays out as one scary movie ...

Now honestly, just get the house blessed and everyone baptized ... ;-)

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1 comment:

  1. I read up on the actual story, and it turns out that the family lived in the house for 10 years after that. And people who have lived in the house after them also have experienced strange things ( though not to the same extent). I don't understand...couldn't a priest ( or exorcist) say mass in the house and bless it and all the demons would leave?

    Also, what is up with the "museum" the Warrens kept? Can't they get an exorcist to rid the demons of the objects too? Isn't it a bit foolish to just hoard all of that?

    It seems kind of strange to me that none of that has been done...