Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why "The Conjuring" Scared the Hell Out of Me

**Warning, contains "mild" spoilers**

Ever since my 13-year-old decided she wants to watch horror movies as all her friends do, I've fallen back into the genre just as much as I was before having children. I can't really tell her she can't watch them, because I remember watching movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th in 8th grade (at a friend's house), and I know she'll watch them somewhere else if not with me. While I've become comfortable with her watching scary movies, I don't want her watching anything overly sadistic or mentally disturbing (accordingly, it will be a few years yet before movies like The Purge or Texas Chainsaw Massacre make her approved watch list). Personally, I'm more of a scary-thriller type of girl, and like something that makes me jump, but also blows my mind.

When my daughter mentioned she really wanted to see The Conjuring, I decided I better screen it ahead of time to make sure it wouldn't give her a lifetime of nightmares as the trailers looked pretty freaky. So during the daytime when I knew I wouldn't scare myself quite as badly, I gave it a run. And I'm pretty sure I'm the one who will be having nightmares for the rest of my life.

For anyone like me who was really excited about this movie, and maybe even considering letting their teen watch as I was, you need to know this isn't just a harmless ghost story. It involves a mentally disturbed witch, and demon possession. Think The Exorcist—ironically, that's one of the few movies I have a really hard time re-watching because it scares the hell out of me (pun intended). Just about every scene involved something that would make your skin crawl, or have you hiding underneath your blanket. Not only are there invisible and visible creatures lurking in this old farm house, but the mother and her five daughters are physically harmed, or otherwise messed with. And there's also a side story told of a creepy doll that makes Chucky look like an American Girl.

loved the cast of characters. I've adored Lili Taylor since she first appeared in Mystic Pizza many moons ago, Patrick Wilson does well when faced with terror (probably from his experience on Insidious), and Vera Farminga plays a very likable heroine. Even the young girls did very well with their parts (it was a surprise to see Mackenzie Foy—a/k/a Renesmee from Breaking Dawn—in the mix). And the director James Wan certainly seems to know what he's doing on the set.

The worst part about The Conjuring? It's supposedly based on a true story. I watched the extended version in which they interview the clairvoyant woman who says this actually happened to her and her husband. The skeptic in me wondered why they wouldn't show us real footage if that was the case. The part of me who sometimes wonders if exorcisms are real nearly peed.

So, did I like it or not? Yes, the rather disturbed part of me really did. Will I be able to watch it again any time soon? Definitely not. Will I let my daughter watch it? Hell no. Unless she wants to wait until she's 18, she'll just have to sneak it in a friend's house like I did when I was her age. Let some other parent be responsible for corrupting her mind. Maybe she'll follow in her mother's footsteps and grow up to write about the paranormal.


Anonymous said...

I had trouble sleeping for a week after watching this. I've loved Lili ever since I saw her in Dogfight with River Phoenix. If you try to stop your daughter from watching it, she will find a way. :)

Jen Naumann said...

Sadly, I know she will. This generation is going to need some serious therapy one day...

Kelley Lynn said...

I like scary movies! I might have to give this one a watch :) Thanks for the post!

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