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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

31 Day of Horror: “The Conjuring”

October3

“The Conjuring” is a horror movie ostensibly based on real events as witnessed by famous charlatans Ed and Lorraine Warren.

In the movie, The Perron family purchases and moves into a run-down fairly isolated farm house in Rhode Island. The family dog refuses to enter the home, and doesn’t survive the first night. Creepy noises and events soon become commonplace and they discover a boarded-up door to the cellar. Mom Carolyn wakes up covered in bruises, and daughter Cindy starts sleep walking again and also seeing ghosts. The parents contact the Warrens, who make their living giving university talks about demons and ghosts and stuff and selling books about their totally made up and in no way fake adventures. They come out and affirm that up, there’s totally demons afoot, or at least one demon. The movie is very eager to paint the Warrens as kind and concerned individuals who dismiss most claims of demonic/ghostly activity as cranky plumbing or what have you instead of people who, for instance, convinced a mentally ill man who killed someone to plead “not guilty due to demonic possession” instead of “not guilty due to mental illness.” So the Warrens pop up there and set up some cameras and what not and shit eventually gets real. The family flees to a hotel to spend the night and laments that they ever bought the house. They can’t afford to move someplace else. Don’t fret, the Warrens console them, the demon would just follow you anyway. You can totally tell by all the upside down satanic crucifixes everywhere (never mind that “upside down” crucifixes are also known as St Peter’s Cross and an actual thing).

Said demon has its hooks deeply in mom Carolyn and she drags two of the daughters (they have 5 daughters) back to the home to murder them. The house is a hot spot of murder and suicide, dating back to the time a young witch pretended to be a normal woman named Bathsheba, gave birth, and then murdered her child as an offering to Satan, which is something that women who’ve just given birth do ALL THE TIME. As proof of her evil witchy ways, she’s cited as the sister of Mary Eastey, an actual person who was executed for witch craft in Salem but later exonerated and money given to her family. She had two sisters named Rebecca and Sarah. Mary, Rebecca, Sarah… Bathsheba?

The Warrens head back to the house and Ed Warren decides that even though Catholic Lay People are prohibited from performing exorcisms (as are most Catholic clergy… only specially trained exorcists are permitted to do the deed), he’s SPECIAL and it’s URGENT so he does some kind of half-assed made-for-movies exorcism. The visual effects are mostly practical, not CGI, and are very well done… there’s a chilling bit where Carolyn has a sheet around her head and we can see it huffing and moving and soaking with blood. The fact that we can’t see details is chilling.

I’m irritated that the Warrens are getting more fame/money from this movie. Other than that, though, it’s a good movie… and the Catholic bits aren’t as ignorant and ridiculous as they are in some movies (“Stigmata” I am looking at you). The acting was top notch, the creepy bits with the clapping game were great, it’s a pretty well crafted movie.

What can we learn from this movie:

  • Dolls are creepy as fuck, stop it.
  • Don’t go house hunting without your dog. Dog won’t go in the house? Don’t buy it.
  • If you find a boarded up door, there’s a reason for that. Leave it alone.
  • Old farm houses are apparently riddled with secret passages or something?
  • Women just go all witchy and kills babies at the drop of a hat like constantly.
  • It’s totally safe and a good idea to keep a room full of demon-possessed souvenirs in the same house your small child lives in.
  • Random small town priests can quickly and easily call the Vatican to expedite exorcism requests when they mention ~ED WARREN~.
  • We all need to stop buying dilapidated old farm houses in the woods like yesterday. Just stop it.

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.

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