I wrote down my first impressions about the movie, then came home and read a couple pertinent parts in the book. To be fair, I will try to find an interview with the Perrons, also, since there's a lot of conflict in the two stories. Of course, Hollywood is going to slant anything they do into a storyline they think will sell. However, even with the differences in the stories, there's no doubt in my mind that the house had something extremely nasty and dangerous in it. Here's my first impression:
Well, I went to see it with a couple friends. Did it scare me? Yes, but in more ways than one.
I think it was a well done movie. The acting was excellent. I haven't read the book, because … well, frankly, I couldn't wade through it the way it was written. Believe me, I tried and tried and tried, then gave up. It needed someone who is an actual writer to write the story. A friend couldn't read it, either, but now we are at least going to try to go back and read the final quarter of it, the part about the movie's ending.
Still, from what I know about things like this, it didn't appear to be a story that was totally made of Hollywood-hype. There was a trailer for a coming attraction horror show, and I only laughed and shook my head at that one, a stereotypical Hollywood horror film. I watched about all The Conjuring trailers, and none of them made me feel like that. Instead, I was just anxious for the movie.
What I liked the most about it was how realistic it was as to what I know. It didn't go overboard as to the horrific events. They were all believable and frightening. The things that scared you to the point of screaming were things that could/did happen. They weren't built up shock hype; instead, they flowed into the story and stunned you in a believable way. Part of that was due to the directing. Part, I'm sure, was due to the fact this was a story from the files of Lorraine and Ed Warren. They are the two people from the paranormal research world whom I admire. They believe in what they do and care about getting rid of as much of the evil in our world as it is possible to eradicate.
The way they worked (and Lorraine continues to work) was for the good of others. I've gotten myself into a situation or two (or more) where I probably should have run the other way. Had I ignored one, my cousin and his wife might have died in a fire set by an evil witch. In another one, animals were being killed in horrible ways. However, as Angela and I were discussing on the way home, there wasn't anything else to do. All were for people I cared about and I needed to do my best to try and protect. And so far, I've gone into the situations with a firm belief that help and assistance will be there for me and I'll be safe. Still, Angela's never going to forget how afraid she was that first time she helped me banish a demon. Plus there are a couple other places and nasty entities I plan to avoid, as does she, unless we take with us scads of physical and spiritual protection.
The lingering aftereffects of The Conjuring did stay with me and give me much thought. I've never encountered such a dangerous situation as the one in The Conjuring. Or, if I did, I wasn't that aware of it. If I had, I’m not sure I would be able to do it again.
I also don't believe I could keep any of the evil artifacts from one of these encounters around, even if they were being blessed over and over continuously. However, as it said in the movie, the reasoning was to keep the entities tied to the items from being set free to do their malevolent work again. I guess that's why the man in the Haunted Collector does the same.
There's a lot to think about after seeing this. Most of the audience was there for the thrill/horror factor. As Floyd said, "Who on earth could bring kids to see this one?"
I totally agreed with him. But then I said, "They weren't here to watch it for the same reason we were. Remember, it means something a lot different to us."
And it did, especially to Angela and me. Probably Aunt Belle, also, and I'll be seeing The Conjuring again with her in a week or so.
Oh, and Lorraine had a cameo appearance in the movie, the real Lorraine. It was fun to see that.
After writing the above, I thought quite a bit about the differences. One thing that kept coming up in my mind were the disparities we run into as paranormal investigators between those of us who are experienced in the supernatural and those who are very naïve. The naïve people only know what they read about or see hyped in movies. This is, imo, a major problem in investigating private hauntings; the people consist of two different types. One is the type who only wants to brag about having had contact with a ghost, forgetting that a ghost was once a living person. The other type wants to direct you and have you do your investigation their way, according to this hype they have seen. They know just enough to get themselves into trouble, and you, if you don't stand firm against them.
There are more versions of these types, but from what I've seen in twenty-five years, these two are the most prevalent.
I've ordered the Ryan Buell documentary. I wanted my own copy and we'll watch it together at one of our classes next month. If it's half as good, it will be excellent.
Go see The Conjuring and let me know what you think.
Above all, stay safe out there.