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Film: The Conjuring

The Conjuring is a 2013 horror film directed by James Wan (of Saw and Insidious) purportedly based on a case of the real-life Warrens.

Harrisville, Rhode Island, 1971. The Perron family have just moved into their new home out in the country. Immediately, strange things begin to happen; all the clocks stop at 3:07 AM, doors move on their own, birds crash against the windows, and something invisible grabs one of the daughters by the leg at night. The phenomena escalate in terror and violence, until the Perrons enlist the help of experienced paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. That's when the spirits decide to step up their game and give the Warrens the most terrifying case of their careers.

The film earned mostly positive reviews from critics (87% on Rotten Tomatoes), and was a huge success at the box office. Since opening on July 19, 2013, the film has earned $316.7 million worldwide against a $20 million budget.

Watch the main trailer here.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Quite a lot, but particularly near the end when possessed Carolyn kidnaps two of the girls and takes them back to the house to be sacrificed
  • Ankle Drag: This happens to Christine.
  • Arc Words: "Look what she made me do..."
  • Big Bad: Bathsheba, a satanist who sacrificed her baby and hanged herself after being discovered who wants to possess living mothers to sacrifice their children too.
    • Big Bad Duumvirate: May not be a straight example, but as soon as the demons penetrate the Warren household, Annabelle decides to join in on the festivities
  • Based on a True Story: Unlike most horror movies, this isn't used as a marketing ploy. Ed and Lorraine Warren were real life paranormal investigators and the film is based on one of their many cases and the Perron family are in fact real. This is to the point that a trailer was released with segments from the real Lorraine Warren and Perron family talking about the events that transpired.
    • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: A lot of details were changed (in real life Carolyn Perron was already 'possessed' by the time the Warrens were called, the Perrons later dismissed the Warrens for not being of any help, the Perrons actually endured hauntings for ten years before moving out rather than the short time depicted in the film, etc.), but the real people involved don't seem to mind. Additionally, the Real Life version of "Annabelle" doll is actually a Raggedy Ann doll instead of creepy porcelain doll like in the film. The film's backstory about Annabelle is also a bit different than the real-life version.
      • You can also see the comparison between the film and the real-life version here.
      • Based on a Great Big Lie: And then there are the claims that the Warrens are nothing more than hucksters and the Perrons invented the hauntings and called them because they thought they could make some money off the story. Lampshaded at the beginning; when someone asks what, specifically, the Warrens are called, Ed begins, "Demonologists, ghost hunters..." Lorraine adds in, "Kooks."
  • Care Bear Stare: Lorraine tries this tactic to exorcise Bathsheba from Carolyn's body.
  • Creepy Basement: Many of the film's events take place in an unlit, creepy cellar.
  • Creepy Child: Rory, on the few occasions you get a good look at him. However, creepy is as bad as he gets, as he's actually a benevolent ghost due to being a victim of Bathsheba's curse.
  • Creepy Doll: Annabelle is creepy enough even without the demonic backstory behind her.
  • Cue the Sun: Right after the exorcism.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Warren's collection of cursed items includes a cymbal monkey. As Ed says to a journalist visiting it: "Nothing in here is a toy. Even the toy monkey."
  • Demonic Possession: Happens to Carolyn Perron, the mother of the Perron family.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Inverted in this case. They wanted to provoke a reaction from the spirits, so the Warrens placed several religious relics around the house.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Warren and Perron family end up surviving the events of the film and everything is fine... for now.
  • Everybody Lives: With the exception of the Evil-Detecting Dog, none of the characters die in this movie.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The Perron's dog refuses to enter the house, sensing malevolent forces within.
  • Fantastic Catholicism: True to the real Warrens, who invoked the trope in their writings.
  • Ghostly Goals: Bathsheba possesses mothers and forces them to kill her children, as well as killing the dog for the evulz. Most definitely Type B.
  • Happily Married: The Warrens and the Perrons.
  • Haunted House: It soon becomes a haunted family as the spirits latch onto the Perrons to the point that leaving the house doesn't help them.
  • Human Sacrifice: Bathsheba sacrificed her baby to Satan in life, and in death she possesses mothers to sacrifice their children too.
  • Jump Scare: Many of the scares through the middle. Some of these are actually kind of effective.
  • Kick the Dog: The spirits murder Sadie the dog just to be cruel.
  • Kill It with Fire: Discussed and averted. When asked point blank why he doesn't burn his possessed artifacts, Ed says that it's sometimes better to keep the genie in its bottle. Burning them might just let the spirits run rampant.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    God brought us together for a reason.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The Warrens' have turned a room in their house into a collection of cursed objects that people are allowed to tour on the condition that you do not touch anything, especially not Annabelle. This aspect is Truth in Television: You really can take tours of this room in the Warren home, complete with the "real" Annabelle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Oh Drew. When one of the younger daughters goes missing, Drew decides to find her himself while the rest of the adults are dealing with the ensuing craziness. Upon finding her, he announces to everyone in the house, very loudly and in precise detail, EXACTLY where she is located. Bathsheba, while possessing Carolyn, has just broken free of her captors. Yes, she hears Drew, and yes, she proceeds to head straight towards the daughter.
  • Noodle Incident: Ed is reluctant to continue with any paranormal investigations due to an incident where Lorraine had a vision of "something" during an exorcism. We never find out what that something was, but it was enough to send Lorraine into a serious Heroic BSOD for several weeks.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: This trope is done LOADS of times. To put it in context, the film was slapped with an R rating despite lacking enough violence or language that usually warrants the rating. James Wan was told by the MPAA that the film got an R rating simply because the atmosphere was too frightening for a PG-13 and there was nothing he could trim to lower it.
  • Occult Detective: The Warrens, natch.
  • Perverse Puppet: Annabelle. The first thing we see in the film is this extraordinarily horrible doll from an earlier case, and we learn right away from the Warrens that she's pure evil. She even joins in the Perron haunting for a bit when the spirits breach the Warrens' home.
  • Real Person Cameo: The real Lorraine Warren plays the elder woman in the front row of the classroom when Carolyn is listening to the Warrens' presentation.
  • Rule of Three: The clocks always stop at 3:07 AM, and the angry disembodied knocks always come in threes. In the case of the former, this is Bathsheba's time of death, while for the latter, this is meant as an affront to the Holy Trinity, according to the Warrens.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Ed savvily asks the Perrons why they didn't just leave, but all their money's tied down to the house, and they know of nobody who'd willingly take in a whole family of seven in their home. Eventually, Ed realizes that the spirit has latched itself to the family, so it would just follow them wherever they went. He is proven correct when the family finally goes to a motel.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Technically, all of the artifacts in the Warren basement count as this, including the music box, but Annabelle is a much straighter example, locked in a glass box. It even has a sign saying "Warning, Positively DO NOT Open".
  • Sequel Hook: After depositing the music box in the museum, Ed comments that they've been asked to investigate something on Long Island, a reference to the The Amityville Horror, though it would not occur for several years.

The spin-off Annabelle contains examples of:


Chinese Ghost StoryGhost FictionDark Water
ConfessionsHorror FilmsThe Conspiracy
Computer ChessFilms of the 2010sThe Counselor
CoonskinThe SeventiesDark Shadows

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