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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The characters take on terrifying challenges, work together, solve problems, and triumph over the odds. They also show empathy for stressed characters in tense situations.
Positive Role Models
The Warrens selflessly put themselves in harm's way to help a family in need. Lorraine, in particular, is in physical danger, but doesn't hesitate to help. They're based on real-life paranormal investigators who apparently helped many people.
Violence & Scariness
Not much visible death or gore, but what is shown is terrifying, life-altering, and not for the faint of heart. The movie's most intense imagery comes from pure terror. The most disturbing sequences occur during the demon possession sequence. There's a great deal of screaming and fighting and some minor gore, such as a woman vomiting blood while wearing a sheet over her head (a red stain suddenly appears on the sheet). A demon scratches a cop's face, with some blood shown. One character (a dog) dies, and characters are sometimes battered around the room by demons.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple is shown to be comfortable with one another in the bedroom. There's some innuendo around their sex life, such as "christening the new house" and "do it again."
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Infrequent language includes one "s--t," plus the occasional "goddamn," "damn," "oh my God," and "hell." A character says, "son of a --- " but doesn't finish the phrase.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A man is shown to be asleep at his desk with an unfinished glass of whisky nearby.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Conjuring is a truly scary horror movie that's based on a true story about a haunted house, a demon possession, and an exorcism. It's more frightening than gory; no characters die (except a dog), and not much blood is shown, except during an intense demon-possession scene at the climax. But even though it's mostly based on suggestion, the scary stuff is terrifying. Language includes one "s--t" and a few other words but is infrequent. Sex isn't an issue, other than that a married couple is shown to be comfortable with each other in the bedroom (with a little mild innuendo). One character is shown to have drunk some whisky and fallen asleep at his desk. The main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren, were real-life paranormal investigators. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This horror film provides a treasure trove of typical haunting tricks that seems fresh and terrifying once again. Best known for co-creating Saw, expert horror director James Wan has happily advanced into more sophisticated tales with Insidious and now The Conjuring. Rather than gore, Wan goes for a more old-fashioned, character-based movie here. What's more, Wan plays with the "based on a true story" motif in interesting ways. Rather than remaining stuck on facts, he uses the story in more metaphysical ways, suggesting that both demons (and angels) could actually exist.
The movie's inspired music score is key: it's a collection of edgy, discordant tones that works beautifully with the images. Wan's choice of actors also adds a level of class. Taylor and Farmiga in particular are two of our finest current actresses, and they bring an intense sense of empathy to the screen. Wilson matches them, making it hard not to hope that a series of true-story horror movies based on the Warrens is in horror fans' future.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.