I am a huge fan of WB’s The Conjuring Universe, so a creepy documentary set at the real-life house from the original movie sounded like it would be right up my alley. An unintentionally funny opening crawl, with a creepy robotic voice setting up the events, was the first warning sign of things to come. Located in Harrisville, Rhode Island, the house was scooped up by a couple who were fans of the movie—they heard the house was going on sale, and they talked with the owner before even meeting with a realtor. The couple opens up the house to paranormal investigators—enter, our main crew of researchers trying to capture evidence of ghostly activity. Can they make it through their stay? Stop me if you have heard this one before…
During their time here, the group naturally encounters all manner of weird phenomena. Shadowy figures, orbs of light, lights flickering, and a creepy basement… when taking photos outside together, one of the girl’s faces gets distorted in the picture itself, like something out of The Ring. Gasp! A door swung open! Glitching technology causes one of the researchers to claim “my GoPro is acting up!” The biggest issue is that none of this is all that scary. I am not questioning the validity of anything that actually happened there, but this is no different than the flood of ‘ghost hunter’ shows all over television. Random weird electronic distortion, a signature of the found footage subgenre, comes off silly.
The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Home may certainly appeal to those who watch the throwaway paranormal/ghost hunting shows on TV. However, there is little here to scare or thrill. It is one big series of empty ‘gotcha’ moments that you will forget instantaneously. The only part with a chilling backbone is the ending itself, which gets interesting just as it concludes.
The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Home comes to select theatres and VOD on July 16th.