As you can see with this The Conjuring trailer, it is based on the experiences of a real family. This makes the premise all the more creepy, but does the creepy idea translate into a good movie?
The dread gathers and surges while the blood scarcely trickles in "The Conjuring," a fantastically effective haunted-house movie. -- Manohla Dargis, New York Times
As "The Conjuring" progresses, the scares don't register beyond standard issue horror gotchas. They're as telegraphed as the musical cues alerting you something spooky is about to happen. -- Adam Graham, Detroit News
"The Conjuring'' depends more on its excellent cast and atmospheric direction than cheap gimmicks to raise hairs on the back of your neck. Which it does, quite frequently. -- Lou Lumenick, New York Post
It isn't particularly deep, but it's a grab-your-seatmate good time at the haunted house. -- Mike Russell, Oregonian
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. -- Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
The Conjuring doesn't have the big special effects of its summer competition, but it is an old-fashioned scary movie that uses every dark corner as a source of scream-inducing frights. Don't see this movie by yourself. -- Rick Bentley, Fresno Bee