The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. It is the first installment in The Conjuring series. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Their purportedly real-life reports inspired The Amityville Horror story and film franchise. The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971.
The Conjuring was released in the United States and Canada on July 19, 2013, and received positive reviews from critics. It grossed over $318 million worldwide against its $20 million budget, making it one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time. A sequel, The Conjuring 2, was released on June 10, 2016.
In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into a dilapidated farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island with their five daughters Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April. Their dog Sadie refuses to enter the house and one of the children, while playing a game of “hide and clap”, finds a boarded-up entrance to a cellar.
Paranormal events occur within the first few nights: all of the clocks stop at exactly 3:07 AM and Sadie is found dead in the backyard. One night in bed, Christine encounters a malevolent spirit only she can see, prompting her to claim that the spirit wants her family dead. Another night, Carolyn hears clapping in the hallway. When she goes to investigate, following the noises, she gets trapped in the basement by the spirit. At the same moment, Andrea and Cindy are attacked by the spirit on top of the wardrobe.
Carolyn decides to contact demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who have recently investigated a possessed doll called Annabelle. The Warrens agree to take on the case, conduct an initial investigation and conclude that the house may require an exorcism, but they need authorization from the Catholic Church and further evidence before they can proceed.
Ed and Lorraine discover that the house once belonged to an accused witch, Bathsheba (a relative of Mary Towne Eastey), who sacrificed her week-old child to the devil and killed herself in 1863 after cursing all who would take her land. They find reports of numerous murders and suicides in houses that had since been built on the property.
To gather evidence, Ed and Lorraine place cameras and bells around the house. They see Cindy sleepwalking into Andrea’s room, and from the EVPs coming from the radio, they hear a spirit luring Cindy into the wardrobe, where she reveals a secret passage inside. Lorraine enters the passage and falls through the floorboards to the cellar, where she sees the spirit of a woman whom Bathsheba had long ago possessed and used to kill her child.
The Perron family decides to take refuge at a motel while Ed and Lorraine take their evidence to the Church. The Warrens’ daughter Judy is attacked in their own home by Bathsheba, though Ed arrives in time to save her.
Carolyn, now possessed by Bathsheba, takes Christine and April back to the house. Ed and Lorraine find Carolyn in the cellar trying to stab Christine. After tying Carolyn to a chair, Ed decides that an exorcism needs to be performed on Carolyn, but realizes there isn’t enough time to wait for a priest to arrive. Ed decides to perform the exorcism himself, and in the process is attacked by Bathsheba. Though Carolyn escapes and attempts to kill April, Lorraine is able to distract Carolyn from killing her daughter by reminding her of a special memory she shared with her family, allowing Ed to complete the exorcism, saving Carolyn and April and lifting Bathsheba’s curse forever.
Returning home, Lorraine tells Ed that they had been left a message saying that they had gained approval from the Catholic Church to perform the exorcism. They also have another case to investigate on Long Island. Before leaving, Ed adds a music box from the Perrons’ house to a collection of items he and Lorraine have saved from past cases. It inexplicably opens and plays music until the screen cuts to black.
I Was Denied by Thee Oh Sees
Evil Son by Coachwhips
Substitute Creature by Municipal Waste
“There was a word for what he was that nice people didn’t say except in the dirtiest jokes. He knew. Always had. There was no need for more of him. His life was a gross testament to cowardice and repugnance.”
Sam Tallent’s Half Hour Prophecy Ep. 36: Art of Conjuring
Sam Tallent is a comedian and writer from Denver, Colorado. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and dog. His interests include Southern Gothic fiction and the “death” of Elvis Presley. He enjoys slow simmered suppers and writing in the third person.
Audio Mixing by Wally Wallace
A Sexpot Comedy Production