It's time for a good ol' fashioned haunted house story with The Conjuring. And while the often-overused "based on a true story" tag may not push this movie from from fantasy to reality for viewers, there is methodical proceeding to the horror that makes the film more believable that the standard horror movie -- and more effective.
The Conjuring is, as much as possible, a paranormal procedural. The Warrens know there's something evil and want to perform an exorcism, but they need proof to give to the church -- leading to a scientific collection of data while fearing what's attached itself to the family. The movie is simple, yet quite effective. While the movie has the usual flying furniture and sudden appearances of decaying ghosts, there are also moments of great tension, such as when a blindfolded Carolyn plays "hide and clap" with an unseen entity, or as Lorraine gets unsettling visions of what happened before in the house. The acting is solid, the chills are there, and while The Conjuring treads familiar territory, it does so pretty well.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch