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The Conjuring Review Critics


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Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice Alan Scherstuhl

    The Conjuring's problem, beyond its lack of a conjuring, is how its otherworldly hokum is stubbornly of this world.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The big difference is that "The Exorcist" took the nation by storm with fresh ideas and brilliant filmmaking. The Conjuring conjures with amped-up echoes of old ideas, and represents a bet that they still retain their creepy appeal for today's audience.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    The Conjuring manages to place individuals in one isolated situation after another, where the editing and music are perfectly timed to capitalize on the payoff scare moment. We also get a level of writing and acting rarely seen in this genre, particularly when the mothers bond over the fiercely protective love that a parent feels for a child.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    The handsomely shot, expertly button-pushing scare-fest has the polish and the cast to draw older audiences who grew up on shockers built from performances rather than CGI.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The net result is an entertainingly frightening film that keeps the audience in a state of alarmed, but eager, anticipation.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The pervasive aura of creepiness more than compensates for the low body count and inventive use of sharp instrumentation.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The movie belongs to the women, for once, and The Conjuring doesn't exploit or mangle the female characters in the usual ways. Farmiga, playing a true believer, makes every spectral sighting and human response matter; Taylor is equally fine, and when she's playing a "hide-and-clap" blindfold game with her girls, she's like a kid herself, about to get the jolt of her life.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Wan masterfully tightens the vise on the audience's nerves, using mood and sound effects for shocks that never feel cheap (the harmless kids' game of hide-and-clap has never been so bloodcurdling).

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Terrifying paranormal horror movie based on a true story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax. But even though it's mostly based on suggestion, the scary stuff is terrifying. Language includes one "s--t" and a few other words but is infrequent. Sex isn't an issue, other than that a married couple is shown to be comfortable with each other in the bedroom (with a little mild innuendo). One character is shown to have drunk some whisky and fallen asleep at his desk. The main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, were real-life paranormal investigators.

  • Families can talk about The Conjuring's violence and how it's presented. How much is actually shown? What's scarier -- lots of gore and blood, or "suggested" scares? Why?
  • What makes this movie scarier or less scary than other horror movies you've seen?
  • What do you think about the real-life aspects of the movie? Does the movie make you believe in ghosts and demons? Does it make you want to learn more about the Warrens? 
  • Are the Warrens role models? How do they help out the Perron family?
  • What's the appeal of demon possession/exorcism movies? What do they have to say about the world?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The characters take on terrifying challenges, work together, solve problems, and triumph over the odds. They also show empathy for stressed characters in tense situations.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The Warrens selflessly put themselves in harm's way to help a family in need. Lorraine, in particular, is in physical danger, but doesn't hesitate to help. They're based on real-life paranormal investigators who apparently helped many people.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Not much visible death or gore, but what is shown is terrifying, life-altering, and not for the faint of heart. The movie's most intense imagery comes from pure terror. The most disturbing sequences occur during the demon possession sequence. There's a great deal of screaming and fighting and some minor gore, such as a woman vomiting blood while wearing a sheet over her head (a red stain suddenly appears on the sheet). A demon scratches a cop's face, with some blood shown. One character (a dog) dies, and characters are sometimes battered around the room by demons.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A married couple is shown to be comfortable with one another in the bedroom. There's some innuendo around their sex life, such as "christening the new house" and "do it again."

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent language includes one "s--t," plus the occasional "goddamn," "damn," "oh my God," and "hell." A character says, "son of a --- " but doesn't finish the phrase.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man is shown to be asleep at his desk with an unfinished glass of whisky nearby.

Fan Reviews provided by


Scared Me! by nicenickie
Okay so I'm into scary movies and this really scared me. I love the feel of it and how it was directed. I still go back to torture myself from time to time because it's such a great creepy movie.


by carlopolicarpio
It's more exciting and thrilling than terrifying.