The Conjuring

The Conjuring ★★★½

The Good: Strong performances from the entire cast, most notably Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor. The story is quite engaging; it doesn't feel like a two-hour movie at all. Pretty effective build-up of tension with a nice variety of scares. Unlike Wan's previous outing, Insidious, which was marred by a weak and somewhat laughable final act, he sticks the landing this time around as he ratchets up the terror in the film's unrelentingly horrifying final minutes. The Annabelle doll. The wardrobe. The music box. The basement. The hair-pulling scene. The exorcism.

The Bad: Has a few cheesy moments. Cheap-looking CGI. (Good thing they don't use it that much.) The trailers spoil most of the scares.

The Bottom Line: There's nothing new here, but it's good to see Wan learn from his past missteps and, in turn, produce his most polished work to date. The Conjuring is a solid, old-school throwback and a satisfying crowd-pleaser; one best experienced in a packed theater.

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