10 Days of Halloween – The Conjuring

5 – The Conjuring

Clearly, I am on a certain kick now: Ed and Lorraine Warren. I’m reading The Demonologist, watching and listening to the audiobook for Amityville, and now we have The Conjuring. Remember yesterday when I was mentioning how I read? If I really want to creep myself out, I read on my stomach, in the dark, with scary music playing. Remember also how I have been lamenting that scary movies no longer have the impact they used to? In the dark, reading about Annabelle the doll, with the theme from The Shining playing on my iPod…I freaked myself out. I had to turn on the light and change the track list on my iPod….and then turn off the light again. I wanted to be a little bit scared.

This poster should do it.

This poster should do it.

The story of Annabelle is told at the beginning of The Conjuring. As I’m sure everyone now knows, Annabelle was in reality a Raggedy Ann doll who, if the Warrens are to be believed, was manipulated by a demon, or an inhuman spirit. For the sake of The Conjuring and Annabelle, they used the creepiest, ugliest doll to ever be created. She moved around, sat here and there, knelt when it wasn’t possible for her to kneel, etc. When the owners of the doll got freaked out, they called a medium. The medium said there was the spirit of a young girl named Annabelle who was playing with the doll and wanted to stay with them. The brain dead infants saw nothing wrong with this and invited this spirit to inhabit the doll. They can be partially forgiven, as The Exorcist was not out when this incident occurred. But who in their right goddamned mind would want the spirit of a little girl (or ANYthing) living in a doll in their house?

The real Annabelle. She comes into your house and watches you sleep.

The real Annabelle. She comes into your house and watches you sleep.

The Warrens intervened and moved on with their lives. Then we have the Perrons, who moved into a farmhouse and are terrorized, abused, clapped at, and eventually possessed by an evil spirit or entity named Bathsheba. The movie makes it seem like it happened over the course of a few days, but it was some time. And to live in that much terror? No thank you!

I was reading the trivia for The Conjuring on IMDB and the MPAA said that no amount of editing would make the movie have a PG-13 rating. Not because of sex or blood or gore, but because the movie was too damned terrifying. One of the things I loved about The Conjuring (besides the fact that it actually scared me) was that it was a slow building terror. Jump-scares are the lame sparrows of the horror world — common, cheap, and ultimately disappointing. The Conjuring had one or two, but for the most part, it was slow, allowing the horror to linger, to ripen, and to develop. There was a constant sense of dread during that movie. The ball gently tossed out from the pile of rubbish. Bethsheba and Annabelle in the chair, slowly looking at the little girl. The clapping from the wardrobe when nobody was in there. Things like that allowed this movie to stand out where Annabelle did not. I liked Annabelle, but I didn’t expect it to be The Conjuring all over again. It was hammered together for profit and included almost nothing but jump-scares (though the demon holding Annabelle was very creepy).

Bethsheba wants a kiss. *leap*

Bethsheba wants a kiss. *leap*

And that’s why The Conjuring is the movie for today. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out (but likely not reading this anyway). It, along with Insidious, are two of the greatest recent horror movies. Ed and Lorraine Warren were either magnificent frauds, or brave souls, because I would not go in that damned house. And I certainly wouldn’t have a demonic Raggedy Ann doll in my basement.


~ by Darren Endymion on October 23, 2014.

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