"The Conjuring" scares up hauntingly good reviews

In this publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Vera Farmiga portrays Lorraine Warren in a scene from "The Conjuring." (AP Photo/New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures, Michael Tackett) Michael Tackett

If you go to see "The Conjuring," be prepared to be on the edge of your seat. The new supernatural horror film, starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston, is a hit with film critics, with the San Francisco Chronicles' Peter Hartlaub is calling it the best horror film of 2013. Others compare it to horror films of the '70s.

"The Conjuring" follows paranormal investigators Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) as they're commissioned to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded Rhode Island farmhouse. After facing a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves working the most horrifying case of their lives.

"The Conjuring" is being billed as a film based on a true story, and its director, James Wan, said the real-life Lorraine Warren was consulted throughout the making of the movie.

"I wanted to wear the 'based on a true story' label with a lot of pride," Wan told MTV News. "I wanted to be proud of that, I wanted it to be something I could really get behind. So we really researched and talked to the parents and to Lorraine Warren about every little thing, to build a world that I could get their stamp of approval on. If I can convince them, then I've done my job making a movie that pays respect to where they're from."

Now there's talk that New Line Cinema already has its eyes set on a sequel, according to Variety.

Here's what critics have to say about "The Conjuring":

Justin Chang of Variety: "A sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory."

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune: "An 'Amityville Horror' for a new century (and a far better movie than that 1979 hit), yet firmly rooted, without being slavish or self-conscious, in the visual language of 1970s filmmaking.

Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter: "Taut and effective edge-of-the-seat horror, delivered with style and an especially haunting performance by Vera Farmiga."

Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-: "Wan masterfully tightens the vise on the audience's nerves, using mood and sound effects for shocks that never feel cheap (the harmless kids' game of hide-and-clap has never been so bloodcurdling)."

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal: "This saga of demonic possession deploys the full audio firepower of modern multiplexes, and does so with brain-battering frequency, like a ghostbusting version of a Japanese Taiko drum ensemble."

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: "It scared the living crap out of me. Only at the movies is that a compliment. So kudos to 'The Conjuring' for putting fresh fire into the overworked haunted-house genre."

Claudia Puig of USA Today: "One of the scarier haunted house/demon possession movies in recent years, it brings to mind '70s supernatural horror films such as 'The Exorcist' with its stillness, steady build of suspense and handsome cinematography."

Kate Erbland of MSN Movies: "...it surpasses the hallmarks of its genre with an actually dramatic storyline and all-around solid acting. Just don't think you can go see it alone."

Tell us: Do you plan to see "The Conjuring"

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.