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The Conjuring | 2013 | R | - 2.7.4

A couple (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are top paranormal investigators who set out to help a family rid themselves of the evil lurking in their old farmhouse. Confronting that power, they become entangled with dark forces that want to hurt them. Also with Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Foy, Joey King and Joseph Bishara. Directed by James Wan. [1.52]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A husband and his wife kiss while standing in their bedroom window; he picks her up and moves away from the window (sex is implied). A husband and his wife kiss briefly on a porch. A husband kisses his wife on the cheek. A woman asks her husband, "Do you remember what you said to me on our wedding night?" and he says, "Can we do it again?" (sex is implied).
 A woman walks toward a shower, wrapped in a large bath towel; we see her from the waist-up and her bare shoulders and arms are seen. A dozen bedroom scenes show women, girls and the vision of a witch wearing long-sleeved and long-legged pajamas or floor length, long-sleeved nightgowns.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - The film is set in an old two-story farmhouse during 1971 in rural Rhode Island and the front yard is usually foggy at night and is filled with large twisted trees; the house exterior has dirty, peeling paint until it is repainted, the interior walls are all covered with dirty wallpaper and the woodwork and doors are dirty and smudged; the cellar is full of broken furniture and lamps, along with a piano that often plays by itself and everything is covered with thick cobwebs, as are the rafters and staircase and crawl spaces exist beneath the floors of the first floor and all are full of cobwebs and antique toys.
 A man gets an exorcism rites book, a cross and Holy Water then he reads the Latin exorcism verses loudly, tossing water onto a possessed woman who smokes as if burned, then levitates her chair, turns it upside down, slams it on the ceiling and then to the floor, breaking the chair; the woman is covered with bruises and bleeding wounds and she is screaming while the room shakes and heavy shelving falls over; birds fly through the windows and into walls, falling dead, and a rifle fires by itself, but does not hurt anyone; the possessed woman vomits up a lot of blood and gore onto the basement floor and her face begins to resume natural color.
 Three young girls say that their mother smelled like rotten meat and took their two sisters; when a police officer arrives at the house, he shoots the front door open with a rifle then finds the woman with yellow-eyes as she grabs long-bladed scissors to kill her two children; hanging crucifixes shake and fall to the floors, the children are pulled away from the woman and one girl disappears temporarily (she is found unharmed); the woman bites a chunk out of a police officer's cheek and we see a raw wound and some blood on his collar before a woman throws a sheet around the possessed woman, ties her to a chair and handcuffs her wrists together as the possessed woman screeches, gags, snorts, laughs and grunts; she vomits blood through the sheet and says the two girls are already dead (they are not).
 A female corpse in a long nightgown appears to hang from a tree in the front yard, and her hair, face, hands and feet are all black with soot; she also hangs from a rafter in a basement and hangs above a man's head in the front yard. A female corpse floats after a screaming, crying woman in the basement until the woman falls into a hole and through a crawl space where she can get to the first floor living room successfully.
 At night, a girl sees a yellow-faced witch with yellow eyes, hook-nose and bloody mouth wearing a long nightgown and crouching on top of a wardrobe, jumping onto her older sister, who rolls on the floor screaming; the girl says that the witch told her that she wants the family to be dead and a ghost-hunter says an entity is feeding off the mother's vulnerabilities and is becoming stronger. A woman takes a nap and we see finger marks form on her arm before a witch's yellow face and bloody mouth appear and screech at her in close-up; the witch vomits blood and clots into her mouth and the woman screams.
 Pigeons and crows begin to fly into one wall of a house and die on the ground, then the number of birds increases and a pigeon smashes through a car window and cuts a little girl inside the car slightly on the arm (we see some blood); by nightfall, many birds smash against the house and through windows that shatter and into a van and other cars, and then fall to the ground dead until one corner of the white house becomes red with blood.
 A young girl sleepwalks several times and bangs her head into a wardrobe cabinet; ghost hunters use UV lights that reveal footsteps into the wardrobe and find a sliding panel and the little girl behind the panel (she is unharmed).
 A woman suffers a new large bruise on an arm, leg or shoulder every night. A maid in 18th century garb reveals bleeding forearms, and runs up to a police officer in the house and shouts in this face.
 Strange sounds and movements occur in an old farmhouse; doors creak and open or close by themselves and a rocking chair on the porch rocks by itself, footsteps sound loudly in hallways and rooms where no one is located, something claps in hallways where there is no one, something bangs against a wall repeatedly three times and another three times all through the night (we hear this is done to mock the Holy Trinity), something unseen pulls children nearly off their beds by an ankle every night, all the framed photos along a staircase break and fall to the floor with loud crashes, and a light bulb in the basement explodes and burns briefly; an antique music box shaped like a circus tent has a mirror in the lid that shows a little girl and a woman and visions of an old woman crying over a dead boy (sometimes the boy appears standing and looking sad). Two nurses own a wooden doll that scrawls all over their apartment walls in red crayon and moves around a house; its cheek looks like an open, bleeding wound and the rest of the wooden face looks bruised; one nurse throws it into the dumpster, but in the middle of the night, loud knocking nearly breaks down the entrance door and the doll is shown sitting in a closet. After moving into an old farmhouse, a mom and five daughters ages 5 to about 16 play Hide and Clap; another pair of small hands, not a person in the family, begins to stick out from various places in the house and clap, scaring the mom and the girls. A sheet on a clothesline blows in a storm around a female figure and then it flies off. We see a white-gowned figure in an upper window briefly. A husband and his wife find their young daughter crying and hear that the lights had gone out, there had been loud noises, something pulled the girl out of bed, and the girl had seen a hag (her face covered by her hair) in a rocking chair, rocking a doll, which turned its head to look at her; the empty rocking chair moves and is thrown into the doorway, shattering, but injuring no one.
 A few people in a family complain of rancid meat odors in their farmhouse. One girl accuses her sister in the next twin bed of flatulating but she did not. A ghost hunter says that rancid-meat odors can signal demonic activity, as can cold spots. A bedroom in the house becomes so cold that breath is visible in the air. A tape recorder picks up sounds in an old house, including shrieks, grumbling, wailing and shouting. We hear that a girl locked herself into a bedroom and that another voice can be heard by ghost hunters listening on headphones saying it is a demonic voice.
 A young girl finds the family dog outside dead on its side the next morning, she screams and the dad looks at the dog (there are no marks and we cannot see details) and the camera cuts to a grave of the dog with a cross marker.
 A ghost-hunter, while in a crawl space, sees visions of a witch and of a woman crying over a dead boy; the crying woman shouts that an entity made her kill her son and then hang herself in a tree; she also reveals that she proclaimed her devotion to Satan before hanging herself.
 In a film of ghost-hunter cases, we see a man who is said to be possessed, shouting in a language unknown to him; we hear that the man was molested as a child by his father and beaten several times as well and that people treated so badly cannot be saved from demonic possession; we hear that the man shot his wife in the arm and shot himself to death; we hear that something the ghost-hunter saw caused her to lock herself in her own room for eight days in fright (we never learn what it was).
 Ghost-hunters take a wooden doll and display it in a "cursed relic room" at their home and we hear that a Catholic priest blesses the room every month; one ghost-hunter, an ordained demonologist, tells his young daughter never to go into that room and tells her and a reporter not to ever touch a single thing in it; we hear that the doll is a conduit for demons to use to reach humans for possession.
 A woman finds a rope noose in a crawlspace underneath a wardrobe cabinet.
 We hear that witches believe that murdering their children elevates them in the eyes of Satan. We briefly see a series of black and white newspaper clippings with headlines announcing hauntings, a human sacrifice and malevolence in Rhode Island; one clipping contains a photo of a séance with the participants' faces blurred out. A typed paragraph fills the screen with words stating that the devil and God exist and that people must decide which they are going to follow.
 A woman has a vision of her young daughter floating downstream in a river, face up and the girl floats out of the frame; the woman calls her mother, who is babysitting, to make sure the daughter is fine and she is but we see a locket hanging on her lamp begin to twirl itself oddly.
 Ghost-hunters set up cameras and tape recorders in a farmhouse, along with crucifixes around the rooms; photographs show the figure of a ghost-like boy following a little girl living in the house.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 2 scatological terms, 1 mild scatological term ("I had to go"), 4 mild obscenities (one is not fully enunciated: "son of a b -----), name-calling (wackos, kooks), stereotypical references to parents, children, reporters, ghost hunters, priests, the Vatican, skeptics, 3 religious profanities (all are GD), 4 religious exclamations (Oh my God, God, By the power of God, and one Latin exorcism reading).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman swallows a pill from a prescription medication bottle and says she is iron deficient which causes her to bruise. A man has a short glass of whisky on a desk but does not drink from it. A man uses Holy Water to cast out demons from a woman and to bless a house.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Moving to a new town, good and evil, religion, witchcraft, exorcism, protecting one's family, risk taking, murders of children, clairvoyance, sleepwalking, night terrors, courage, commitment, determination.

MESSAGE - Evil exists and should be taken seriously.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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