The Conjuring

Director: James Wan
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

Typical Haunted House scenario, this time with a couple (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) buying a new home that is inhabited by dark spirits which have to be exorcised by experts in the demonic (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). If the premise sounds familiar, it's because there's been a rash of movies like this (Paranormal Activity, Mama, Insidious, Silent House, The Amityville Horror remake) of late and all seem to ascribe to the same premise that there are spectral, malevolent entities contained within these homes that love to scare children, knock things off the wall, embody inanimate objects and so forth. The major bonus to this one is that the performances are above average (particularly Livingston and Taylor's young daughters) and Wan is relentless in throwing out the Boo Moments: creepies above the dresser, a girl dragged across the room by her hair, nastiness in the cellar. With the presence of Wilson and Farmiga it seems to be half-heartedly pushing some kind of Christian agenda, though this is all a far cry from The Exorcist (which I'm in the minority these days in loving, and being terrified by). As a teen I would have probably adored this; age makes you more jaded and skeptical, naturally (and make you realize the often-used "based on a true story" is a cute lie).