Movie Review: The Conjuring (From a Christian perspective)

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Summary: “And whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” – Mark 3:11 It’s not every day a truly scary movie comes along with strong theme about the power of God – but THE CONJURING is exactly that kind of film. Does evil exist? Are demons real? Can they possess people? Who is strong enough to defeat them? These are the questions raised by this thriller directed by James Wan (SAW, INSIDIOUS). A family moves into a farmhouse in Rhode Island and finds themselves terrorized by the supernatural. With the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren, they must rely on God to help them fight and exorcise the evil that has entered their lives. THE CONJURING was intended by screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes as a movie where “God wins.” “That was a non-negotiable for us,” Carey said. “We’re never going to glorify evil.” Added Chad: “We want people to feel great after seeing it. To be scared and entertained, of course, but to walk out of the theater with a good feeling because good, God, is victorious.”

Talent: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor

Rating: R

Release Date: 07-19-2013

Running Time: 112 minutes

It’s confession time.  Before I was brought into a full relationship with Christ, one of the genres of reading that I was pretty engrossed in was horror.  I was a Stephen King fan, before he got himself clean.  I was an Anne Rice fan back before she embraced her Catholic upbringing and quit the vampire series.  Once I came face to face with Christ he held up a magnifying glass over my life and showed me areas where I was not walking in truth.

One of these areas was reading horror, reading about vampires, and other areas of darkness.  I was reminded over and over that light has nothing to do with darkness, and I needed to eradicate these from my life. So I did. And it was rather painless.  I simply lost the desire to read or watch those types of topics.  And I warned others against them.  I reminded them that the Lord wants us to flee the unholy, and seek HIM first.

Then, I was offered tickets by Grace Hill Media to review a horror movie with a Christian theme, and I admit I had a huge struggle.  See, I have long since lost my desire to be entrenched in that world.  But I know that some Christians will go see it, just like lots of them flock to the Twilight movies.  Plus, Grace Hill Media usually promotes films that are family-friendly and good content. So, hesitantly, I accepted the offer to write a review.  With all that as the background, here goes:

As far as horror movies go, this was pretty light.  It had lots of suspenseful moments, several creepy scenes, but it did not go as far as things like Amityville Horror or The Shining or The Exorcist.  It did offer offer lots of “gotcha” moments, but with less gore than one might expect.  Indeed, even when scenes did include gore, they were brief flashes, not dwelt upon, leaving more to the imagination. My husband and daughter thought it was WAAAY Creepy and my husband told me he was ready to leave after about the third suspenseful moment.  He had a huge vat of popcorn in his lap, which rendered him helpless to move, or he may have bolted for the door.

I sincerely believe that because I used to be entrenched in this kind of stuff, I had become desensitized to it- something I am not proud to share.

Now, for the movie itself, I found it refreshing that the religious beliefs of the people who were helping the “victims” get rid of their demons were not mocked. The “demonologist”  couple was well-played. However, just like other exorcism movies, it was entrenched in the old Catholic ideas of exorcism which may be familiar to you from movies like The Exorcist.  The demonologist also suggested that the victims get their children baptized in the Catholic church to help protect them from the demons invading their home. While I do not agree with these religious elements, I did like the fact that they were not mocked and ridiculed, even though some characters expressed skepticism.

Now, the crucial question: Should you go see this film?  Well, that is for you to decide.  If I had not been asked to review it, given my past I would have skipped it, but if you like scary or suspenseful movies and don’t have a problem with them, then this one had some good elements to offset the theme- strong family values, a faithful husband, loving, playful siblings, respect, fidelity, unconditional love- all these themes were strong throughout the film.  There was no nudity, but there were curse words, including some including the Lord’s name.  And in the end of it all- a Holy God does win this battle of good versus evil.

If you were my own child, or close friend, I would say just skip it and go out for ice cream instead.  I would certainly NOT take children, as the images seen in the film are quite frightening, and have a fair amount of “sticking” factor. I will not be taking my teenage daughters to see it.

If you would like to see it, and would like a chance to WIN two tickets, there are a few hours left to try to win some tickets, here is a link to my giveaway:

http://www.homemaking911.com/2013/07/16/giveaway-4-tickets-to-see-the-conjuring/

 

Note: I did receive free passes to this movie in exchange for this review, but the content of the review was not influenced in any way.

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