The Conjuring (2013)

Pros
  • The sound effects are top notch and basically make the movie
  • The clapping game is surprisingly terrifying and I will never play that game for the remainder of my life
  • Nice use of lighting and shadows, something that is important in horror movies
  • Vera Farmiga does a great job
  • The skeptic cop provides some decent humor as the comedic relief
  • Multiple scenes involved the 'rope sound effect'.....it's damn scary
  • The scene involving their daughter at home is great and terrifying, especially since they involve Annabelle
  • The overall film feels very creepy
  • Patrick Wilson is really cementing himself as a horror actor (Hard Candy, Insidious 1&2, now this and it's sequel)
  • The Annabell doll is terrifying, it's in the movie for no more than 20 minutes, but its impact is terrifying.....
  • Great job building suspense and maintaining it
  • One of the highest grossing horror movies of all time (unadjusted of course)
  • This will without a doubt become a fan favorite in years to come

Cons
  • Another entry into a tired genre (exorcism/possession)
  • Extremely cliche-ridden, which means it becomes quite predictable
  • 3rd act is disappointing, in the sense that it is another tame exorcism as its climax
  • R-rating?....the movie received an R-rating just for being 'too scary' (one of only a handful of movies to accomplish this)
  • Unnecessary bird effects at the end of the film, cliche #45
  • Though the movie has some decent scares, the storyline is far too familiar to make this something truly special

Score: 7/10
Even though the exorcism genre is extremely overplayed, The Conjuring stands tall among this overcrowded genre. While it doesn't add anything new to the group, it does a great job building suspense and offers a few genuine scares. The storyline is as bland as they come, a family terrorized by ghosts/demons turns to someone with psychic abilities to fight the demons and ends up needing to perform an exorcism. We've seen this time and time again, but this time James Wan adds some solid nostalgia/style and what I think stood out the most, terrifying sound effects to make the movie something special.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, The Conjuring is the most polished, cliched, horror movie ever made. It features hardly any original ideas, but it takes a generic storyline and somehow makes it shine, it's crazy to see how effective a movie can be in the hands of a good director. A certain crowd-pleaser, this will probably be the general public's favorite horror movie of recent memory, but certainly not mine.