‘The Conjuring’ clears a low bar

Horror movies are pretty far down on my list of favorite genres. In fact, they’re not on the “favorites” list at all.

I object to horror because I feel like Freddy Krueger, Leatherface and their ilk only accomplish filling my brain with scenes of fake blood and dismemberment. I enjoy a good action flick or science fiction, and they sometimes (oftentimes?) tell stories filled with violence and guns (or phasers), but it’s blood with a plot.

Unfortunately, my Beloved and my Adored stepson like the adrenaline rush of crappy movies like “The Grudge” and “Evil Dead.” Thus, I found myself watching “The Conjuring” on Friday at my stepson’s behest because he pushed my buttons with “it’s my birthday.”

Alright already, I’ll go with you. There’s always the popcorn.

I was shocked to discover the movie sold out 30 minutes before showtime. We bought advance tickets “because everyone wants to see this movie”; I was skeptical and I was wrong. The line double-backed on itself in the hallway outside the theater. Everyone did want to see this movie.

To be honest, I found things to like about “The Conjuring.”

Like Lili Taylor. I think she looks exactly the same as she did in 1989’s “Say Anything… .” Which helps me maintain the illusion that I do, too. She and Patrick Wilson actually acted, and that’s more than I can say for most horror movies.

The costuming was great. It’s set in the 1970s, and I imagine the costumer had a fun time shopping Savers and Goodwills for some of those gems. The men wore long sideburns, and the cars were vintage, too.

There is blood (that’s a requirement, I suppose), and yes, the house is haunted. The plot reminded me a bit of “Poltergeist” (“they’re heeere”); all the mayhem has a point. I jumped in my seat more than once. And none of the main characters die.

My stepson didn’t think it was scary enough, however.

So consider yourself warned.


One response to “‘The Conjuring’ clears a low bar

  1. I’m basically with you, although I’d put The Grudge in a higher class than “crappy”. It’s a remake, by the original director, of a Japanese film, Ju-on, which may be the creepiest movie I’ve ever seen.

    Like you I’m totally “Meh” on slasher films. I can also take or leave monster/zombie movies, unless they have something that makes them rise above the pack (Shaun of the Dead, for example, was excellent, and the Cuban version, Juan of the Dead isn’t bad, either). Ghost movies, on the other hand, can get to me! (They’re more likely to have sensible (actual) plots, too.)

    Movies that use some variation of “cat jumped off the shelf” moments to startle you bore me, and I lose respect for them. Movies that use clever camera angles and subtle tricks can keep me riveted. Ju-on tops that list.

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