The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. It is the first installment in The Conjuring series.
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
Why It Rocks
- Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are flawless casting choices for Ed and Lorraine Warren.
- Amazing acting and performances.
- A brooding, yet intimidating setting/environment.
- Decent cinematography.
- Bathsheba Sherman is a malevolent and well-performed antagonist.
- Interesting characters that relate to the story.
- It stays true to the events the film was based on.
- Very nightmarish visual effects.
- Well-done story development.
- A very heartwarming and satisfying ending for the viewers.
- A very brooding and mysterious accurate setting that ties into the story.
- The actual Lorraine Warren makes a noticeable cameo in the film.
- The origins of Bathsheba Sherman's devil-worshiping is very tragic and relatable to the plot.
- Joseph Bishara does an a decent musical score.
- The possessed Annabelle Doll looks absolutely nothing like it does in real life and the doll’s appearence is far-too terrifying (in a mediocre way).
The Conjuring grossed $137.4 million in North America and $182.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $319.5 million, against a budget of $20 million.
In North America, the film opened on July 19, 2013, alongside Red 2, Turbo and R.I.P.D., and was projected to gross $30–$35 million from 2,903 theaters in its opening weekend. The film earned $3.3 million from its Thursday night showings and $17 million on its first day (including Thursday previews), doing slightly better than The Purge a month earlier. The film went on to gross $41.9 million in its opening weekend, landing in first place and breaking The Purge's record as the biggest opening for an original R-rated horror film. For Warner Bros., The Conjuring surpassed the debut weekend of the distributor's big-budget film Pacific Rim, which had opened to $37.3 million the weekend prior. While horror films usually drop at least 50% in their second weekend, The Conjuring only dropped 47%, taking in $22.2 million and placing in second behind new release The Wolverine. After its run in theaters, the film was officially named a box office hit, grossing over fifteen times its production budget with a worldwide total of $318 million. Calculating in all production and promotional expenses, Deadline.com estimated that the film made a total profit of $161.7 million.
Outside North America, the film had a total gross of $180.6 million from all its overseas markets. In Australia, it grossed $1.8 million in its debut weekend, placing third at the box office behind The Heat and This Is the End. Its total gross in Australia was $8.2 million. In the United Kingdom, the film opened on August 6 alongside The Smurfs 2, making £2.6 million ($3.3 million) in its opening weekend, and grossing $16.2 million in total there. It had its biggest international gross in Mexico, opening in first place on August 23, where the film made $18.9 million overall.
The Conjuring received generally positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an 86% approval rating, based on 207 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film an "A-" grade on a scale of A to F.
In her review following the Los Angeles Film Festival, Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter said, "With its minimal use of digital effects, its strong, sympathetic performances and ace design work, the pic harks back in themes and methods to The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror, not quite attaining the poignancy and depth of the former but far exceeding the latter in sheer cinematic beauty." Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a positive review, calling the film "a sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory." Additionally, Alonso Duralde of TheWrap also praised the effectiveness of the film, explaining that it "doesn't try to reinvent the tropes of horror movies, whether it's ghosts or demons or exorcisms, but Fred Astaire didn't invent tap-dancing, either." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, citing the effectiveness of "mood and sound effects for shocks that never feel cheap."
However, some critics reacted negatively to the film's similarities with films such as The Exorcist and Poltergeist. Indiewire's Eric Kohn explained that, "The Warrens may know how to handle demonic possessions, but The Conjuring suffers from a different invading force: the ghosts of familiarity." Andrew O'Hehir of Salon said the film provided "all the scream-inducing shocks you could want, right on schedule", but thought the central concept – that the innocent women accused and executed in the Salem witch trials "actually werewitches, who slaughtered children and pledged their love to Satan and everything!" – was "reprehensible and inexcusable bullshit".