The Perron family moves into a big creepy house. This is an old concept, and The Conjuring doesn't do anything spectacular to make it new again. Insidious had all kinds of creepiness. The audience was offered a sample platter of scares, so many, they could pick and choose what was scariest. Was it the murder sisters with the huge, white grins? the creepy old lady with the candle in the window? Pick your poison. The Conjuring had the creeps, it just didn't have the scares.
The five daughters of the Perron family like to play a game called Hide-and-Clap, which is just about the creepiest game in the entire world, without a haunted house to make it even fucking creepier. Basically, you willingly tie on a blindfold, let your
Anyway, while playing this God-awful travesty of a children's game, they accidentally discover a boarded up entrance to a cellar. Usually when an entrance to someplace creepy is boarded up, it's a good indication that there's something pretty creepy going on in that creepy place. So they go down there and they find all sorts of creepy shit. Surprise.
Mysterious hands grab at the daughters' feet at night. All these girls sleep with their feet uncovered, which personally I think is just asking for a ghost to grab your ankles and pull you out of bed to be eaten, but that's just me. The matriarch keeps waking up with mysterious bruises, birds keep flying into the sides of the house, and something killed their dog.
Apparently all this trouble is caused by Bathsheba, an ACCUSED witch who ALLEGEDLY sacrificed her own infant before running out to the ole creepy tree and, after cursing the land and proclaiming her love for Satan, hung herself from the creepiest possible branch*.
So the Perrons call in Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are THE authorities on ghoulies and ghosties. Seriously, they investigated the Amityville Horror**, that haunting in Connecticut***, and apparently a case involving werewolves. Ed died in 2006, but Lorraine is still alive and kicking evil's ass. She's like the Chuck Norris of the paranormal.
So the movie wasn't great. It wasn't bad, but I'd also say it wasn't that good. It certainly wasn't the pants-shitting terror that I was hoping for. I'll give The Conjuring two and a half out of five possessed porcelain dolls.
*She was cleared of the charge of witchcraft and infanticide. She actually died of natural causes, rather than hanging herself.
**Pretty well debunked, between conflicting witness testimonies, to the dates given in the now-famous book. Other people who have owned the now-famous house have stated that nothing weird ever happened, aside from sight-seers.
***Save yourself the trouble, don't watch this movie. Also, apparently Ed Warren was aware that the family was crazy as all hell. He just wanted to make a buck (no disrespect to the dead, I fully appreciate the need to make cash from the ignorance/delusions of others.