Originally Posted by shape22
I found this to be a step down from Insidious. It's so similar that I felt a serious sense of deja vu--and not in a good way.
Both films really fall off the cliff in the third act. Wan just doesn't know when to stop. I thought Insidious got off to a great start before it went off the rails with the goofy tonal shift. But I found the last third of The Conjuring even less appealing. It completely disintegrates into noisy special effects overdrive. The best ghost stories don't over-do it. The end of The Conjuring is like a WWF version of The Legend of Hell House or The Changeling. It was way too manic and overwrought for my liking.
In the end I don't think either film is very good. But Insidious has the better boo scares--which seem to be Wan's specialty. Nothing in The Conjuring is as effective as that face in the window. And Insidious seems to unfold a little more naturally. The Conjuring ultimately tries a little too hard for my liking. There's no doubt that it's a more tonally consistent work than Insidious. But it seems like an extension of the same material, themes, and techniques. I found them all less effective the 2nd time around. And although I didn't think it was possible The Conjuring offers up an ending that's even more hokey and unsatisfying.
Maybe Ti West can teach this guy some restraint.
I agree with you 100%. I don't get all the love Wan's movies are getting. He seems to combine elements of older horror films (The Changeling, Amityville Horror) and then mix them with more recent horror films (The Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes).
For instance, when Lorraine is doing the laundry and the one bedsheet catches wind, looks like a spector is beneath it and then flies up to a window to show a woman --- I thought this scene was great. However, when we see the dead maid pointing her wrists out at the screen saying "she made me do it" it just feels like a bad modern horror film.
The two styles just don't jive for my tastes and it releases all the good tension he builds up. He shows the ghosts way too much - quick glimpses are always far more effective imo if you have to show them at all.
The hands that came out of the closet and clapped - didn't seem scary to me but just looked silly. When the girl's leg was being grabbed and she was dragged down was pretty creepy but then when her sister is being drug around by her hair it just seemed funny since it was so over the top. All the birds that flocked at the car in the end really made me roll my eyes.
For a ghost story or haunted house film, less for me is always more. The only time I think over the top worked really well was Poltergeist and even in that movie, you don't really see ghosts hanging around whining that Kane made them do it or standing around in The Further (
) with twitchy blinking eyes. Or Wan should make his ghosts like in The Shining when they seem like normal people but they really are not. But putting them in bad Halloween make-up and having them play to the camera is just not very effective imo and takes me out of the movie.
If he learned restraint and really built on his old-school style till the climax, I think I would love a movie by him. But until then, it just feels like a bad clash of styles.