I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a great horror movie but there is something about The Conjuring that puts it a step above most others. It’s not especially original and there are no twists or unexpected developments- it’s fair to say that you know exactly what is going to happen in this movie after watching the beginning.
In some ways, the straightforward plot is a strength. I kept waiting for a stupid twist to ruin things and nothing ever came. It was refreshing for something to be taken at face value and simply be what it is.
Still, this is the craftsman’s film. Every aspect of it is well executed. The acting is relatable. The scares do rely on a lot of jumps but they usually aren’t cheap ‘come from off screen suddenly’ tricks. If M. Night Shyamalan perfected the art of horror without showing, The Conjuring perfects showing slowly and drawing out the dread instead of simply having a ghost appear behind someone.
I definitely wouldn’t suggest this film could reach the heights of other horror masterpieces like The Orphanage or The Others, but it is definitely worth a viewing if you like to be terrified.