There is nothing I can
say that will express the depth of disappointment I feel while watching
"Conjure." Read on to see why.
So what we have here
is, well, I'm not sure just what it is we have here. We've got a
lot of Matt Busch hawking his own artwork, and shamelessly promoting
his career, but not much in the way of actual storyline going on
here. At least not until the last half of the movie, when there
is plot, but it's a plot you've seen before several times.
The first thing you'll
likely notice about "Conjure" is that the effects are
a real mixed bag. Even the first thirty five seconds is proof of
this. First, the ghost at twenty five seconds in...convincing. Unnerving.
Well acted, well done.
But then, follow that
up with some second-rate weapons fire special effects at the twenty
seven second mark.
But then, the monster
sequence at the forty two second mark kicks in, and manages to be
both creepy and weird all at the same time.
But then, we're treated
to this positively horrendous opening sequence starting about a
minute and a half in. Mindlessly self-serving, it is little more
than a promotional sequence for Busch's artwork.
It's not that someone
wouldn't have a use for this footage. It's not as though it isn't
interesting, even! I'm sure amateur artists everywhere are going
to find this inspirational. I did, even!
The problem is it has
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MOVIE!
Almost the first ten
minutes of "Conjure" have NOTHING at all to do with the
I find myself enraged
by this. I just spent ten minutes watching a COMMERCIAL. Not even
the THEATRES subject you to a ten minute commercial before the movie
The theatres at least
have the class to give you several different commercials for those
Worse yet, the next several
minutes are almost exclusively devoted to Matt painting what looks
like a castle he found in a graveyard. For a ninety minute flick,
there's not a whole lot in the way of plot to be had here, folks.
Thirteen minutes out of ninety have been eaten up by Matt And His
Art. That's almost twenty five percent of your movie just lost to
a guy drawing.
For reference, think
how pissed off you'd be if "The Princess Bride" was twenty
five percent Fred Savage sitting in bed and reading.
Put the torches and pitchforks
I found myself wondering,
around the twenty minute mark...is there a plot in all this? WHERE
is the plot in all this?
It's about twenty one
minutes in, that's where the plot is. We get this nice little sequence,
eerily reminiscent of the motion detector sequence in "Aliens"
where Matt wanders through his house, gun in hand, as a series of
motion detector lights activate on a command center back in the
But then, twenty five
minutes in, it's all for naught as it's back to Time Passes sequences
of clouds moving and more with Matt And His Art.
The disappointment I
feel at this moment is just staggering.
And THEN, as if the first
ten minutes weren't bad enough, we get it all recapped in the form
of a Detroit Free Press interview around the twenty seven minute
mark! Who IS the target market for this movie, anyway? Really big
Matt Busch fans with the attention spans of ferrets on crack??
Yes, there will be some
new information in this sequence. It doesn't change the fact that
it comes after the part that repeats what's said earlier.
The handful of purely
terrifying sequences that come into play and the positively spectacular
ghost effects are no match for the sheer and astonishing bulk of
shameless self-promotion that we're subjected to.
The ending is twenty
pounds of predictable in a five pound sack. Matt Saves The Day.
Yaaaay. And the how is even worse...folks, we've all seen this before.
This is a "Monkey's Paw" ending all over again, done so
many times before by better movies than this. Eliminate the thing
that caused the problem and watch the problem go away. "Wishcraft".
"Wishmaster." "Hellraiser". "Leprechaun".
The list goes on.
Plus, more commercials.
The special features
include a blooper reel, a making of featurette, deleted scenes,
an alternate ending, trailers, an interactive sketchbook, and others
to be determined later.
All in all, Matt pretty
much sums up the impetus behind the movie in the first ten minutes.
Art is a lot about selling a product. And "Conjure" is
the art that Matt must have intended to sell a lot of his own products.
"Conjure" is, categorically, one of the worst movies I've
had the intense displeasure of having seen in a long time.
GRADE: 0 stars
no stars at all