#156 In Crichton's TLW novel, a supporting character near the beginning of the story is named 'John Roxton' -- an homage to a character who appears in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic 'The Lost World'. (From: 'Ankylosaurus') Prev - Next
"The Conjuring" On 2/27/2013 at 5:35:22 PM, PaulSF started the thread:
When it comes to James Wan, I don't know what to say. I love this man. Probably more than they say a man should love another man, at least in southern states. I love this trailer. I can't believe I'm seeing a proper, correctly done horror trailer that isn't dilled with bullshit. This has been moved to a big summer release on July 19 afterf hugely positive response to early screenings. I hope this shit is a wake up call. Movies like this is what horror fans want, and what the genre doesnt get enough of, which gives it a bad reputation. The concept of truly great horror cant help the fact that so many people get it wrong. I like how Lili Taylor is here. Fourteen years ago, studios could'nt possibly have gotten it more wrong in that Jan De Bont trash she starred in. Sometimes things do change for the better.
Yeah, I bet. This is nothing against the film, because it looks like a perfectly good haunted house movie, but what is this obsession with pitching horror movies as true stories? Do people still fall for it?
Msg #4: On 2/27/2013 at 6:23:43 PM, PaulSF replied, saying: The story does, though, revolve around Ed and Lorraine Warren. Obviously anything they've said could very well be false, but Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga do play these roles. Wisely this trailer didn't get into that, but maybe unwisely, sure, touting the "true story" thing has become routine.
And James Wan needs to be doing these for a very long time, or else I'm stuck with phoney horror hack directors that seem to not care whatsoever for the genre. Thankfully after WB moved this release to the summer due to overwhleming response, and after it makes its millions, I think he just might! He's on his final five days of his Insidious Chapter Two shoot as we speak. That releases a month later in August. Replies: 5
Msg #5: On 2/28/2013 at 2:46:57 AM, Snake Mark replied to Msg #4, saying: Oh, fucking hell. The Warrens? Really? Two of the biggest hacks in the paranormal investigative field.
(edit: and, totally random, but can i gush about that logo? it's such a small touch and yet it looks fantastic.) Replies: 8
Msg #8: On 2/28/2013 at 2:44:39 PM, Ostromite replied to Msg #7, saying: I was actually thinking the same thing. The way the J comes down slightly and the edging around the typeface makes it look like a more old fashioned movie title than just a text overlay from photo-editing software.
Msg #9: On 3/1/2013 at 11:05:21 AM, Carnotaur3 replied, saying: I like the movie title. I like Lili Taylor. I don't really care for the trailer.
Msg #10: On 4/3/2013 at 6:59:23 PM, PaulSF replied, saying: Just a heads up for those looking forward to this: the second trailer is out and I refuse to post it. Why? Because it was put together by a blithering idiot studio whom I can only assume didn't think the perfect, minimal first trailer was enough to get asses in the seats (it was) so they had to sum the events of the entire movie up in two a half minutes, giving away many obvious big moments. Thanks, retards.
Don't check it out, and if it plays before a couple of the big releases coming soon, cover those eyes and ears. Replies: 12
Luckily, it hasn't hampered my excitement for the film, and I've even heard it was given an R rating by the MPAA based purely on how scary it was as opposed to gore or language. With this, Insidious Chapter 2, and Paranormal Activity 5 this year among others, I am set on horror.
Msg #13: On 4/3/2013 at 9:14:12 PM, Ostromite replied, saying:
Yes, Lee, as opposed to the trustworthy professionals in that field.
We do exist.
The Warrans were in it for nothing more than a cash grab - especially in regards to the Amityville incident. A decent amount of investigators don't get paid, don't jump to conclusions, and don't label everything as paranormal.
While not necessarily as scary or disturbing as its being praised (the R rating is a joke), it makes up for that with literally everything else possible. The direction is solid and suspenseful, the film looks beautiful and is masterfully paced, the writing is great, the performances are phenomenal with characters you care about. It's really good movie and I can't wait to go back again this weekend for another round with a packed audience. A definite 8.5/10 at the very least and maybe my favorite film of the summer.
Msg #23: On 7/19/2013 at 1:23:29 AM, Cameron replied, saying: I'd go about a 7/10. Wasn't too impressed. It was fine, but only slightly above average. I found it kind of boring, to be honest, the characters didn't grab me much at all. The main guy in Last Excorcism may still be my favorite character in the last few years in a movie like these.
Msg #24: On 7/20/2013 at 3:04:53 AM, Neo The 1 replied, saying: No, wait, was this really rated R? Like, seriously? For what?
This was good in that it is well done on pretty much every technical level, but at this point any kind of haunting or exorcism film just feels like more and more... and more.. of the same. If this was the only scary movie I had ever seen, or one of a half dozen, I might be impressed, but at this point none of these films are at all surprising. I guess I'm not the audience for this kind of stuff anymore. Replies: 29
Msg #25: On 7/20/2013 at 10:14:56 PM, Raptor Vinny replied, saying: I don't really care for haunted house movies so this WAS really effective for me. I've seen Paranormal Activity and Amityville (love both) but everything else I've mostly avoided.
Anyway, this was the best horror film I've seen since John Carpenter's The Thing. PA was criticized about never showing the demon but The Conjuring did a perfect balancing act of keeping you in the dark and then showing small glimpses and then full out to complete the scare.
The shots were the best I've seen in the genre since... possibly ever. Most horror directors and DOPs just don't give enough of a shit these days it seems. This was beautiful to watch. If I watched it with the sound off I'd still be terrified (but the sound was fucking excellent too).
Msg #26: On 7/22/2013 at 9:14:50 PM, raptor2000 replied, saying: Hm...well, I enjoyed this, but I was not really blown away by it like I was Insidious, Dead Silence, Paranormal Activity, or Sinister. The first 3/4 of the movie was great, but I felt like it kind of lost something once the mom got possessed and it became an exorcism movie. I don't know why, but I just find ghosts more creepy than demons...maybe it is because they were humans and generally have tragic or gruesome pasts in this type of movie. I wanted to see more of the spirits living on the land the house was on and less of the possessed mother.
I dunno...I just didn't find this movie particularly scary...I didn't get the same feeling of fear and dread I get when watching the PA movies or Wan's other films (not counting the Saw series). It was entertaining, but it's probably my least favorite of the films I've listed. I'm far more excited for Insidious Chapter 2.
And not to beat a dead horse, but yes, the R-rating on this thing was a joke.
I wasn't blown away like I was by Paranormal Activity
It's also odd to me that you prefer Dead Silence to this, which I found entertaining but heavily flawed. Even James Wan said the whole thing was like a "gun to the head" creative approach... he banged the idea out in one night just to sell it during Saw hype on the advice of his agent.
Msg #28: On 7/22/2013 at 11:47:15 PM, Snake Mark replied, saying: Wait.
The one with the ventriloquist dummies?
..... Oy. Replies: 30
Msg #29: On 7/22/2013 at 11:49:07 PM, Ostromite replied to Msg #24, saying: I have no idea if The Conjuring is good or bad, so I just mean this generally, but I agree with Rez about ghosts and demons. Part of it is that I have absolutely no belief in the supernatural whatsoever, so movies that try to spook me with spirits and things like that just immediately ring false. However, I love vampire movies, and I obviously don't believe in them, either, and I think it's because vampire movies are made under the assumption that no one in the audience actually does believe in them. All my favorite vampire movies use the vampire to express something tangibly horrific or anxious (for instance, the decay of the human body after death, rape, the id, foreigners, etc.). Most ghost and demon movies I've seen seem to think that I think this exorcism and haunting business is at least possible. The reason The Exorcism still works is that it spends what feels like four hours validating your skepticism by refusing to actually acknowledge that there's a literal demon involved before everything completely goes apeshit in the final act.
Msg #30: On 7/23/2013 at 1:56:49 AM, Velociraptor87 replied to Msg #28, saying: Mary Shaw deserved a better movie. But it definitely is entertaining in its own right.
Msg #31: On 7/23/2013 at 2:06:18 AM, PaulSF replied, saying: That scene alone in the theater with Billy/Shaw yelling at the heckling kid invalidates any Dead Silence badmouthing. Flawed, but still really like it. As for The Conjuring, it may have been the best second viewing I've ever had. Now that the hype factor went away and I knew the second trailer spoiled so much, I was able to just focus on the sheer quality of everything this has going for it. The characters are actual fucking human beings, and all of its "scares" rely on subtlety, mood, and how authentic the relationships feel in-between them to give support. It deserves every bit of critical praise its received.
Msg #32: On 7/23/2013 at 2:32:08 AM, Cameron replied, saying: I saw Conjuring a second time. Still give it a 7/10. Good, but agreed, the whole Demon/Possesion, and even just the ghosts spirits thing doesn't really do it for me anymore. Anyone other than Wan at the helm of this movie probably would have resulted in me downright hating it.
And I like Dead Silence, stupid, but pretty fun stupid.
Msg #33: On 7/29/2013 at 7:55:59 AM, Bryan replied, saying: You guys know that, along with romantic dramas, films in the horror genre are my very last cup of tea. I watch very few, reserving viewings for the ones with high RT ratings or good word of mouth from people I know have decent film experience. I think the last ghost film I watched was the suprisingly well-made Woman in Black.
With that in mind, I went to the Conjuring without the burden of knowledge (the love of horror) that many of you brought with you. Whereas you all can really feel the hodgepodge of other movies cleverly cobbled together to form this story, I can only acknowledge it on an academic level.
Yes, I've seen The Exorcist. Yes, I've seen enough jump-scare movies to see the patterns. Yes, I've seen every type of movie that the Conjuring conjures up to sell itself. But not to the extent of horror fans. Not to the extent where Wan didn't fuck up a night's sleep for me.
What I loved about this movie is the restraint. Most horror films bore me, since I can almost always tell when the director is about to "scare" his audience. While Wan's ultimate goal here is to scare the living piss out of us, he does so without resorting to out-of-nowhere BOOS. Instead, Wan drives up the tension as if his life depends on us angrily cursing him in the dark of our bedrooms.
Honestly, the scenes of daytime were a blessed relief between the nights of unbearable fear. I felt for that family because Wan did an amazing job of making sure we felt as the family felt: terrified for their safety, afraid of the night.
Again, it was restraint which really let this film shine. Any other director would have gone for the jugular in a half-dozen scenes, but Wan makes do with rarely showing his hand, allowing the imagination of his audience to handle the heavy lifting. For me, one of the most terrifying scenes comes in the second act, when the infestation is really kicking off. One of the daughters feels the tugging on her leg, and awakes to find the door closing, and someone standing in the dark behind it. She wakes her sister, who sees nothing and actually GOES TO SEE BEHIND THE DOOR.
The whole scene relies on nothing more than the tension already built and the young girl making us believe that there is actually someone standing behind her sister. That and the door finally slamming shut after what seems like an eternity. THAT is great filmmaking.
Another one is in the final act, after Lorraine has fallen down the shaft and she experiences the ghosts in the cellar. The appearance of the witch's hanging corpse, seen only from the knees down, was incredibly effective, again allowing our imagination to fill in some incredibly dark places.
Finally, another sequence that really stood out for me, though in a different manner, was the sheet in the wind. I believe that was in one of the trailers but as I had not seen a single trailer for the film, I was pretty surprised by it. What was better was what Wan did with it afterward, plastering it against the window, then revealing the witch in the bedroom. It was fucking perfect.
I also give props for it never jumping the gun. Jeepers Creepers and Insidious both lost me in the second half by showing too much and, in a way, shifting gears to become another genre. Too many good horror films to do that, so I was happy to find the Conjuring kept its mystic and its tension up until the very end, when Wan wants us to expect something and then gives us only our imagination.
The Conjuring is, clearly, not the perfect horror film, as it is fairly unoriginal, but if you asked me if it worked, my answer would be undoubtedly. I had worried that the appearance of the Warrens would ruin the tension that had been built up until this point, but instead most of the great scares and high-tension moments come after they've been introduced to the situation.
I mean, bringing their daughter into it? That whole scene might well be the most insanely frightening of the whole movie.
Conclusion: This movie scared me. Me. So, yeah, in my book that makes it a great film.
Also, why the fuck does no one in these movies just call Sam and Dean? Damn.
Msg #34: On 7/29/2013 at 12:40:40 PM, Pteranadon2003 replied, saying: I had heard about how spoiler-ific the second trailer was so I avoided it. Even when it played in the theater once I used the opportunity to use the restroom. So yeah I hadn't seen a whole lot from the film, only read a few vague reviews and I was really impressed with the teaser. So I checked this out on opening day.
I really liked this film. It's probably James Wan's best and I love the 70's style, the earnest approach and willingness to go over the top...as I thought the third act was the film's only natural conclusion. However I will say its most effective moments are the first half of the film, especially the part with the daughter seeing something in the corner of the room in the darkness and her sister not being able to see it. Although one of the most frightening parts of the film involved the Warren's daughter in the third act. That was very scary.
Overall a very effective and well acted old fashioned ghost story. I dug it alot.
PS. I loved the nod at the end to The Amityville Horror. Good stuff.
Msg #35: On 7/30/2013 at 10:52:08 PM, Raptor Vinny replied, saying: Bryan you fucking nailed it. Jesus Christ we actually agreed on something. There were so many moments where Wan defied convention. Like when the girl looked under her bed in that scene, I was CONVINCED something would be under it and dreading the moment... then instead he prolongs the moment and does this cool as shit like upside down shot with the door slowly moving in the background after a few seconds.
Also I literally laid awake in bed a couple nights thinking about how I would react if something just grabbed my leg. Fuck. Living in my new house by myself is not helping.
And yeah the scene in the Warren's house was easily a highlight of the film. The shots down the hallway/up the stairs with the lightning and then the house slowly getting darker. Fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Msg #36: On 7/31/2013 at 7:43:38 AM, Adam replied, saying: Fucking loved this film.
If anyone asks though I haven't seen it yet, was supposed to wait and see it with a girl.
Can't wait to go again though. Christ, so much about this was effective, fresh and defiant, despite the plot sounding so run of the mill. Brilliant stuff. Replies: 37
Msg #37: On 8/5/2013 at 11:16:14 AM, Evilgrinch replied to Msg #36, saying: I freakin' loved it. So much junk to wade through as a horror fan, but Wan keeps bringing the goods.
It’s been pretty incredible watching his evolution over the last decade. Saw; admire it though I do for the discipline to which it, as a seven-film franchise, maintained a consistent continuity, operated at the polar opposite side of the spectrum from his more recent haunted house pictures. The cheap tricks of frenetic editing and hyper-violence are now toned down in favour of a slow-burning elegance and focus on character, ably accompanied by the sort of playful direction and expert sound design that sold us all on Sam Raimi thirty years prior.
Wan, with Insidious, The Conjuring and (next month for Mr Prolific) Insidious Part 2 is pumping out A-grade ghost stories with their own self-contained mythologies, decent actors and a sense of restraint and class that some genre films never attain by either disrespecting their subject matter or aiming too much for the boozed-up Friday-night crowd. Hollywood shoots off a lot of junky possession pictures, very few avoiding the sloppy pitfalls of dissatisfaction, even fewer elevating (or maybe that should be levitating…) to a quality befitting the genre at its pristine best. Insidious, for its many strengths, felt somewhat restricted by the limitations of its paltry budget, but The Conjuring, with far more coin in the old bank, wisely blows the greater resources on impeccable production design and period detail. The result is a complete triumph of its type, and the most pleasing horror film so far this year. I'm glad to see so much unity on this board!
Msg #38: On 2/25/2014 at 8:47:57 PM, PaulSF replied, saying: Warner Bros./New Line have revealed today that The Conjuring 2 is going to hit theaters October 23, 2015. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will return as Ed and Lorraine Warren. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/348175-the-conjuring-2-gets-a-release-date-not-a-summer-movie/ Replies: 39
Msg #39: On 3/1/2014 at 2:11:31 PM, Evilgrinch replied to Msg #38, saying: Let's hope Wan's available...
Msg #40: On 10/3/2014 at 1:49:03 AM, PaulSF replied, saying:
Felt the need to just bump this thread over creating a whole new one. I saw Annabelle and personally had a blast with it. It lacks Wan's more seasoned hand in directing actors and other relating elements, the story isn't as emotionally involving due to characters not quite up to snuff with what's come before, but the overly critical reaction to it thus far is in my opinion, a load of shit. The flick successfully engaged and creeped the shit out of me, and the unknown actors did more than fine. They worked, the characters were likable. The Conjuring and Insidious cinematographer John R. Leonetti takes over directorial duties and does a damn fine job adhering to the more classy and tension filled tone of those films. He never delivers fake-out jump scares or explicit gore. When it aims to scare you, it's for a legitimate reason. There's a basement storage set-piece that's one for the books.
For those that really enjoy the previous Wan directed/produced films, you should absolutely check this one out. It'll go right on the same shelf with ease. Very pleasantly surprised after fearing the worst. If Wan returns for Conjuring 2 next year with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and Leonetti back in the DP seat, I'll be doing joy filled cartwheels across the room. In the meantime, Insidious writer Leigh Whannell is currently in the directors chair shooting Insidious Chapter Three for an April 2015 release. They chose wonderfully as James has been off working on Fast 7 with both of these. I'm all smiles. Replies: 41
Msg #41: On 10/3/2014 at 6:38:54 AM, Evilgrinch replied to Msg #40, saying: Is this a full spinoff or a prequel Paul? IE -do they tie the ending back in to where the doll is in The Conjuring? Replies: 42
Msg #42: On 10/3/2014 at 4:26:11 PM, PaulSF replied to Msg #41, saying: Prequel. They do exactly that.
Msg #43: On 10/3/2014 at 5:10:33 PM, Cameron replied, saying: Annabelle was absolute generic crap, saw it last night. Replies: 45
Msg #44: On 10/3/2014 at 6:26:18 PM, PaulSF replied, saying: Cameron referred to Conjuring as "boring" and "slightly above average", so that's something to keep in mind. ;)
We learned yesterday that Warner Bros. Pictures had delayed their upcoming horror sequel, tentatively-titled The Conjuring 2, until an unspecified date in 2016. Now, Deadline reveals a pretty good reason for the delay: James Wan is returning as director and producer! http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=124266
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