Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Conjuring and A Thank You

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "The Conjuring" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Book Wyrm - "Better than most scary movies I've watched lately. Lorraine and Ed were the most intriguing parts of the film. Their careers definitely intrigued me." - 3 Stars

The Great Hornito - "This is the best ghost story that I've ever seen. I don't think it was the scariest but it was definitely the most interesting." - 5 Stars

Lord Battle - "This is the best ghost story I've ever seen. James Wan is the modern king of hauntings, campy or serious." - 5 Stars

Ice Giant - "I love everything about this movie, Annabelle legit freaks me out." - 5 Stars

Huntress - "The best paranormal hunter movie I've seen." - 5 Stars

Bug - "I liked all the components to this movie, especially since it was a true story. I don't like many ghost stories but this was really good." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
At the time I'm writing this, the Overlook Theatre has been incredibly busy screening films, but at the same time my personal computer and phone have both recently died. The Overlook Theatre is a group project that I in no way could accomplish alone, and with that said I am the only one reporting and organizing what we are doing so this hit has all but stopped the blog and facebook page. Thankfully both issues have been resolved but another thing I've never addressed and has come up recently is that I am now employed. 

When I started this blog I was unemployed and attending school, taking mainly film theory classes and I needed an outlet to rant about film. Now however, I am working full time. I am a lead at a framing store which is something I am very much enjoying and even posted about in the past (well hinted at). On top of that I've met another huge horror fan and recruited him as a reviewer, needless to say things are going good. 

With the good comes the bad and in this case the bad is having less time to post, which is going to result in me missing a day every now and then. Please forgive me for this as it pains me to do so. As for the facebook page it should be better than ever, as I've decided to select 2-3 reviewers to admin the page with me, posting film/blog related things and getting a chance to speak to readers.

 So thank you to everyone who's been patient with the slow and far apart posts and I promise the Overlook Theatre will be going on for a long time! 
With so many reviews waiting to be posted I thought it be hard picking just 1 to return to posting with. Then I realized that somehow "The Conjuring" managed to get lost in the pile of reviews. This is so hard to believe because almost all the reviewers love this film and is a frequent topic of discussion at the theater.

 I'm assuming most people that are reading this have already seen the film but if you haven't there are spoilers below.

One of the things that lead The Great Hornito and I to open our review with the same exact line (and I mean word for word) is the way James Wan solved the problem that all ghost stories share, a solution. "Paranormal Activity" took a new approach to haunted houses by changing the way the ghost(s) were presented and experienced, the one thing this film didn't change was the weak climax. Steven Spielberg saw the film and liked it so much he made a deal for it and also had two more endings filmed.

My point is that ghosts are a tough problem to solve and when people do "solve" a haunting it either feels very underwhelming or like the whole thing was made up. James Wan solves this problem in "The Conjuring" by removing the entity in a classic way, a good ol' exorcism. This was a brilliant way to end the film and he really needed a solid ending under his belt, since "Saw" relies on twists, and people generally complained about the whole second half of "Insidious". So I guess he owes Lorraine Warren a thank you.

The second brilliant thing about "The Conjuring" is the duel story telling aspect. Every other film I've seen that show cased a haunting always portrayed the ghost hunters/paranormal researchers as oddities and eccentric outcasts. Ed and Lorraine Warren are anything but that, in fact the film opens with them teaching students about what they do. The academic setting provides them an authority over their field that is respected in an intellectual environment, definitely a world apart from Zelda Rubinstein. After establishing their professionalism, we get a glimpse into their home life and just when the movie starts to feel all about them we are introduced to the Perron's and the movie is given another dimention. 

James Wan knows that we need to care about the characters in order to be scared and "The Conjuring" offers up not 1 but 2 loving families for the audience to worry about. I only hope he can bring this masterful story telling to a Paul Walkerless Fast and Furious 7.

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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