Anyone have any opinion on "The Conjuring"? (I made a post about my initial thoughts here. Review on the way.)
I've been meaning to rewatch "The Exorcist" for a while now, but the last time I saw it I was still somewhat religious. (I've never been VERY religious, but I grew up as your typical non-Churchgoing CofE member-by-default.) A friend of mine had said he thought "The Exorcist" was hilarious at the time, while I genuinely found it pretty creepy.
In recent years I've decided to get more into horror movies than ever before thanks to encouragement from others on Livejournal. I've realised that I have a big horror-comedy um... fandom?
Anyway, I'm finding horror-comedy is everywhere. "Return of the Living Dead" and "Re-Animator" are awesome horror-comedies with zombies, the Child's Play movies are great horror-comedies, there's some clear horror-comedy in the "Nightmare On Elm Street" series and some of my favourite Friday the 13th movies like "Jason Lives" and "Jason Goes To Hell" seem to be, you guessed it, horror comedies!
Still, there are certain horror films which seem to be taking themselves deadly seriously and end up seeming unintentionally hilarious to me and I'm beginning to notice a pattern. I'm an atheist these days, so perhaps there's a link between that and my inability to take the following movies seriously:
This was actually doing a pretty good job of making me take it seriously. I felt the style of the movie was a little formulaic and it has a very blatant pro-exorcism message in the background. Still, I was prepared to accept it on its own terms to start with. It was in the second half where thinks went nuts and when Anthony Hopkins shouted "BAAAAAL!" that was where I finally cracked. It was pretty ridiculous.
I wrote the review quite a while back, but it took me until now to post it to my own journal. I think there are hints all the way through the film that it was originally written to be a horror comedy and Sam Raimi's presence as a producer makes that seem very likely. Sam Raimi is absolutely brilliant at making movies which are equally scary AND funny, often at the exact same moment. But once we reach the finale, the big 'shocking' moment involved one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen.
The very first scene of the movie had me cracking up. If this were a horror-comedy, I think I might have loved it.
Notice the pattern? Yep, they're all exorcism movies.
And it's not like I will inevitably hate exorcism stuff. I absolutely LOVED the tv series Apparitions. Though that being said, Apparitions is the creation of Joe Ahearne and he's actually an atheist. But I must say, I think what really matters is whether you can tell a convincing and engaging story.
I think I need to finally give "The Exorcist" a watch. I'm quite interested to see what happens. On the one hand "The Exorcist" is the critic Mark Kermode's favourite movie of all time. On the other hand, my friend who is a horror fan (and pretty religious too btw) does not really think "The Exorcist" is a very good movie. But even if I don't end up liking "The Exorcist" (and I don't remember being terribly keen on it before) that doesn't mean that I'll find the scary moments laugh-out-loud funny.
I'd like to finish by pointing out the rather cool podcast "Monster Talk". It's a science-based podcast about monster stories. They have a very cool podcast they released detailing the full story of the Warrens from "The Conjuring":
I first head about this podcast when it was recommended by the hosts of the Horror Etc podcast who appreciated the movie of "The Conjuring" a great deal, even if it does beatify blatant scam artists. (Actually the controversy over the central figures actually increased rather than decreased my interest in this movie. I had every expectation that the fictional version of the Warrens story could make for a great horror film, even if the real life story was much more mundane.)
Did they change the doll because they couldn't get the rights to use Raggedy Ann? Because they wanted to make the doll more scary? Or because the doll needs to pick things up and Raggedy Ann has no fingers?