Hi, this is my Horror movie lens. It's my first lens and I'm feeling my way around. Hopefully you will bear with me as I get adjusted and hopefully bring you some interesting and original horror articles. Feel free to comment, as I love feedback and discussion about horror on film.
The Conjuring and Evil Dead
R rated horror with little CGI
This weekend The Conjuring by director James Wan opened at the top of the box office. Estimates say it earned around 41 million and is the biggest summer horror movie in a long time. The trend in recent years has been to push for a PG-13 rating in order to draw in crowds of all ages. This, however typically creates a watered down product that disappoints real horror fans. This didn't happen with The Conjuring however. What is also unique in this day and age is that the conjuring used very little computer generated effects. It relies heavily on practical effects, where possible as well as a sense of dread and suspense versus heavy gore. While the combination of R rating and limited CGI creates an oddity in modern horror, it has also created a box office hit.
Likewise, the remake of the horror classic Evil Dead, which was released to DVD this last week went to the theater with a R rating. The Evil Dead, like The Conjuring was heavy of practical effects, indeed the filmmakers claim there was no CGI used in the film. However unlike the Conjuring, Evil Dead relied heavily on gore for it's R rating. Hard core horror fans seemed split on the Evil Dead, in large part due to it being a remake of one of the most beloved horror movies out there. Still it was a box office success and is doing well on home video.
One thing fans agree on, is that these two films are a positive sign in a box office littered with horror films aimed at the masses, instead of the fans. Hopefully the big money men in Hollywood will realize there is a market for real horror if it is well done. Making a good movie is the key. Fans will support a well done film, regardless of the rating. Release R rated trash and the fans won't come, do a film right, support it, get the word out and fans will come.
At least most of the time we will. Remakes are still a hard sell to real horror fans. There have been so many cheap, quickie remakes made just to cash in on a name, that real fans are cautious. The Evil Dead suffered from this, and another great R rated, non horror film suffered from just the opposite. The Dredd reboot suffered due a lot to hatred of the original which strayed to far from the source material.
No one knows where horror will go from here. Will the success of The Conjuring and Evil Dead lead to more great horror made for adults or will it lead to a lot of bad R rated horror churned out just to cash in on a craze. Or is it possible that Hollywood will look at these two films as a fluke and go right back to it's heavy CG, PG13 program
creepy crawly, pass through the wall-e, what makes you shake and shiver?
What scares you?
Evil Dead and The Conjuring
Check out the trailers for two of the most exciting horror movies of 2013, Evil Dead and The Conjuring! If you think you can handle real R rated horror!!!
Seen the Conjuring? Check out the true story behind it
A return to R rated horror and practical effects. Check out one of the better remakes out there
A gore fiends delight. Own a cope of the movie that helped bring back r rated horror
The original classic that helped make the career of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell
Read more about Ed and Lorraine Warren, the couple behind the Amityville investigation and the conjuring
Did James Wan conjure up a winner?
So this weekend I went to see The Conjuring at a local theater. Now I was mixed about this film. I knew it was heavily hyped but had avoided reading any advance reviews or stories about it. All I really knew was it was a ghost or haunting story based on a purported true story. A true story from the same couple who investigated the Lutz family of the Amityville Horror. I am not a big fan of ghost movies. Most just aren't that scary and the use of CGI in modern ghost films almost always is a disappointment. Sorry but seen one CGI ghost, seen em all for the most part. Walking in I had no knowledge that the film used very little computer effects.
The film is a period piece set in the 1970s and focuses on Ed and Lorraine Warren and their investigation of the haunting of the Peron family. Tagged as the one investigation that was too horrible to be revealed till now, leaves some very big shoes to be filled, but for the most part The Conjuring manages to fill them. Director James Wan is no stranger to horror, and he is familiar with doing it right as well. In The Conjuring he assembles a veteran and capable cast that includes Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, and Patrick Wilson (who starred in Insidious another Wan horror movie). All the actors give a wonderful convincing performance, even the kids. The acting allows you to sink into the movie and lose yourself in the moody, creepy sense of impending doom.
That creepy feel is what helped this film earn a R rating. It's one of those rare movies where you never feel anyone is safe. One scene that foreshadows a child's death kept me on edge till the screen finally went dark. The Conjuring is a bit of a slow build but that sense of dread is there from the very beginning, and once the film picks up and the evil spirit is moving the viewer is glued to the edge of the seat.
The film ends up being more of a possession and exorcism movie than a ghost story. The spirit of a dead witch is haunting the family and she is a truly scary villain. Exorcism films are also a hard one to get right. Once again The Conjuring succeeds where so many others have failed. The actual possession isn't as body contorting as films like The Exorcist, or The Last Exorcism, but it holds it's own in sheer terror. I will even say it's build up is less tedious than The Exorcist (I know blasphemy to say anything negative about it) although over all it's not quite to the Exorcist's level. However a possessed mom threatening her children is a terror not to be taken lightly.
The story is well written and the actions of the characters are all, for the most part, believable within the confines of the movie itself. It has a common theme with The Amityville Horror of a family trapped not just by demonic spirits, but by economic hardship. "Where can we go?" is asked by one of the main characters with a deep sadness. That is horror. Knowing you have no choice but to remain in a situation that puts your family at risk. It's an all too believable situation. What would you do when faced with an evil situation, whether supernatural or not, and mortgaged to the hilt?
The Conjuring really didn't have any negatives for me. Some horror fans may be disappointed by the lack of gore, but for me there was plenty of horror. There were a few CGI scenes but they were few and very well done, and added to the film immensely. Others may not like the neat little happy ending, but this was based on a true story, that had a happy ending. I enjoyed the ending. I have seen too many twist endings that add a downer or unhappy ending. Some movies need a bad ending, some a good.. It's when the wrong ending is forced on a movie that upsets me. This was the ending for The Conjuring.
So my judgement on The Conjuring? Go see it. Support good, original horror for grown ups. You'll be glad you did
Lord Dixie's Dark Domain
Home of most of my movie reviews
While I will be putting new reviews on Squidoo, I have written a lot of reviews for movies, mostly horror movies and you can find them here at my blog. There is also the occasional opinion and rant about film, politics, or just life in general. As well you can find many photos of beautiful women from my photography hobby. Please check it out and leave a comment
What's your favorite horror movie in recent times? - Everyone loves a scary story
Horror is scoring big at the box office. The Conjuring is number one, Evil Dead is out on Blu Ray and DVD and doing well. Yep there were some stinkers but over all horror is riding high
What is your favorite recent horror movie?
New R Rated horror in limited theaters
Another new R rated horror has hit the theaters, however only in a limited release. Frankenstein's Army tell us what might have happened if the Nazi's had discovered Dr. Frankenstein's formula for reviving the dead. Of course this was also done in the horror comedy, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein, part of the anthology Chillerama.
Here however it is played straight and not for laughs. It's bloody, gory fun and my review should be in the featured lenses on this page.
Support real horror
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