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The Conjuring

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Called a teaser, even though it's over 2 minutes long.

An MTV Movie post--with an unfortunate headline--gives this synopsis:

Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville, The Conjuring tells the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), world renowned paranormal investigators, who were called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.

This will reunite Wilson and director James Wan, who worked together on Insidious (and the upcoming Insidious 2), which I liked enough to forgive Wan for spawning the Saw franchise.

And FWIW, Vera Farmiga's kid sister Taissa starred in the first season of American Horror Story.

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I do have to say, that is one of the funniest trailers I have seen for a long time. There's a long long line of stupid horror movies out there, but I think it takes a certain amount of talent to make your monster into one pair of hands clapping.

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I think we can now safely say that James Wan is the William Castle of his generation.

I think this trailer is brilliant, BTW. Hilarious, but brilliant. Hands are an excellent subject for a horror movie: The Hands of Orlac, Mad Love, The Beast with Five Fingers.

Edited by Nathaniel

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The trailer is definitely hilarious, but it also left me interested in where else they would take it. But the synopsis s a huge turnoff. I want to see the movie being teased.

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Are we gonna get over the Paranormal Activity type of movies? Even Dark Skies sorta followed the same ole' formula.

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New trailer.

Of note, the Warrens were the people originally connected to the Amytiville story so this might be a sequel of sorts. The house from the 1970's Amytiville horror is in the trailer.

This has more of a classic horror film vibe than INSIDIOUS did (I've never seen SAW- or better, saw SAW.) I like the direction some of these new horror films are going. They're getting bigger actors and working on story where there is more ideas than gore, like in the olden days. From what I hear EVIL DEAD calls me wrong though, at least in the gore department.

There seems to be a bit of an X-files approach to this as well, but mind, maybe the Warrens were a influence on that TV show. I'm cool with a film that questions some of these supernatural things.

I'm in.

Edited by Attica

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Was thinking on this some more today. When one reads the bit about Amityville from the above link, it's telling a tale that is remarkably close to the subject matter touched on in the documentary that comes with the Sinister DVD, which is of course connected with Sinister. There also obviously seems to be a connection in subject matter to this film.

Nearly a decade ago before I was married I had moved into a small apartment. After staying there for a few days I had this continual sense that there was just something icky about the place. Later I found out that the tenant who lived there previously had been evicted for selling major drugs out of the apartment.

Also. Years ago I was talking with a local Anglican priest friend who had mentioned a house in our city, where there was re-occuring strange things going on, and where people wouldn't stay for long. It later became an abortion clinic. His take was that there was demonic in the house that somehow attracted the abortion clinic to move there.

Make of all this what you will.

Edited by Attica

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This will reunite Wilson and director James Wan, who worked together on Insidious (and the upcoming Insidious 2), which I liked enough to forgive Wan for spawning the Saw franchise.

You can't blame Wan for what followed the original, which I believe has a few fans around these parts. I wish I could remember what I actually liked about it, but it's so long ago now that I only remember two people chained to a floor across from one another -- and perhaps some kind of pseudo-philosophical mumbo jumbo as they discussed their current predicament.

I think we can now safely say that James Wan is the William Castle of his generation.

I'd be interested in hearing more on this.

This has more of a classic horror film vibe than INSIDIOUS did (I've never seen SAW- or better, saw SAW.) I like the direction some of these new horror films are going. They're getting bigger actors and working on story where there is more ideas than gore, like in the olden days. From what I hear EVIL DEAD calls me wrong though, at least in the gore department.

I guess I'll need to see if we have a thread on Evil Dead. It's not the same kind of horror, you're absolutely right about that. But it fits right in with Insidious and Sinister as far as the seriousness with which it takes itself goes. The main difference being, of course, that Evil Dead is gore to the core. (Think: double High Tension.)

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Wow!

The mere sound of two hands clapping will have audiences begging for mercy in “The Conjuring,” a sensationally entertaining old-school freakout and one of the smartest, most viscerally effective thrillers in recent memory. Dramatizing a little-known account from the 1970s case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, director James Wan’s sixth and best feature is pull-out-the-stops horror filmmaking of a very sophisticated order, treating the story’s spiritual overtones with the utmost sincerity even as it playfully mines all manner of apparent cliches — creaky doors, cobwebbed cellars, toys you’d have to be just plain stupid to play with — for every last shiver of pleasure. What’s a moviegoer to do but join with the demons and applaud?

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Everything I have heard is that it is terrifically scary-without being gory.

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Yep. This is looking like it might be my kind of film.

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Written by twin brothers Chad and Carey Hayes. They have an uninspiring track record (House of Wax, The Reaping, a bunch of TV movies I haven't heard of), but everyone knows twins are creepy.

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Written by twin brothers Chad and Carey Hayes. They have an uninspiring track record (House of Wax, The Reaping, a bunch of TV movies I haven't heard of), but everyone knows twins are creepy.

I met Chad Hayes at a press junket for The Reaping, which, despite its total mediocrity, is studded with biblical allusions. "Do you subscribe to a particular faith?" someone asked. "Christian, absolutely," he replied.

Edited by Nathaniel

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The Reaping. I'd forgotten about that one. It was horrible.

Edited by Christian

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The latest trailer features an interview with the real-life Perron family.

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Is that a *real* real-life family? Or is this one of those pre-release hoaxes like that Shyamalan thing?

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Grace Hill Media is promoting it with this spoiler-ish description:

"And whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." - Mark 3:11 It's not every day a truly scary movie comes along with strong theme about the power of God - but THE CONJURING is exactly that kind of film. Does evil exist? Are demons real? Can they possess people? Who is strong enough to defeat them? These are the questions raised by this thriller directed by James Wan (SAW, INSIDIOUS). A family moves into a farmhouse in Rhode Island and finds themselves terrorized by the supernatural. With the help of Ed and Lorraine Warren, they must rely on God to help them fight and exorcise the evil that has entered their lives. THE CONJURING was intended by screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes as a movie where "God wins." "That was a non-negotiable for us," Carey said. "We're never going to glorify evil." Added Chad: "We want people to feel great after seeing it. To be scared and entertained, of course, but to walk out of the theater with a good feeling because good, God, is victorious."

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Very, very interesting.

Yep. This looks like my kind of film.

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So it's good.

 

Not great, but good -- and effectively old-school scary without relying on gross-out gore. The first act is wobbly -- a highly compressed prologue that we then learn is being related in a lecture hall -- but the main story is effectively structured.

The 1971 setting is a real asset: It evokes the likes of The Exorcist and even Poltergeist (both of which the film overtly echoes, along with others including The Evil Dead and apparently The Changeling, which I haven't seen), yet the characters inhabit a world where none of these movies exist yet. (One of the things that most annoyed me about Raimi's Evil Dead remake was that it was set in the present, yet apparently none of the characters had ever seen a horror movie or heard of the "cabin in the woods" trope. Note that I want everything to be all Scream self-referential, but still, you can't act like it's still the 1970s.)

 

In 60 seconds I couldn't say everything I wanted, so to unpack a couple of points: While there's a very heavy Christian/Catholic milieu, there are also a couple of complicating factors. Early on the screenplay clearly distinguishes between ghosts (former human spirits) and demons (inhuman spirits that may impersonate ghosts and attempt to trick people), but the rest of the film seems ambiguous on this point. Are we dealing with ghosts or demons?

 

In my 60 I say the movie's best trick is the spirits' "mimetic" behavior, echoing earlier innocent moments. (Yes, most viewers won't know what I mean, but what can I say? I've only got 60 seconds, really only 54 at most.) In other words, the spirits manifest behavior adopted from the human participants themselves. This could be a trope from a previous film that I haven't seen, but it was new to me, and I found it strikingly effective.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8TRku542DQ&list=PLPu38Ui5dTDINmv5o5eF6Y0GAlkTBqoeP

Edited by SDG

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This is one of those cases where I wonder if the "true story" claim compelled the filmmakers to restrain themselves just a bit too much. The last James Wan / Patrick Wilson movie, Insidious, freaked me out so bad I lost my popcorn. Whereas nothing in The Conjuring quite approached that level of freakedoutedness.

I also think it's interesting how the film tries to keep that final sudden spooky moment at the end -- the bit that all horror movies have nowadays which lets you know that the forces of darkness haven't been defeated as thoroughly as you thought they had -- and yet here, too, the film is restrained by the whole "true story" thing.

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I wonder...is it kind of Ironic to anyone else that one of the major forces in moving modern horror away from gore fuels tales is the guy who kicked off the Saw franchise?

 

I also find it interesting that his two recent horror films have starred Patrick Wilson as one of his leads.  I thought Wilson was good in Insidious, which surprised me.

Edited by Thom Wade

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