‘The Conjuring’ Trailer – James Wan An Underrated Filmmaker?

The latest chiller from James Wan, is The Conjuring and like many horror movies, is of course based on a true story.  There are two trailers for the film, the first of which is above and shows only one part of the story.  It shows a family, in particular the mother, who appears to be haunted by some kind of child spirit.

The second trailer, which is right below, gets into the full story, where we see that our stars will be Patrick Wilson (also worked with Wan in ‘Indidious’) and Vera Farminga, playing two ghost hunters who are brought on board to investigate the families ghost problems.  Between the two trailers we get an extremely creepy version of hide and seek, some classic shock tactics, a slightly old fashioned vibe and one hell of a trip to the basement.  Take a look:

The trailers look pretty good, pretty creepy.  Most horror trailers do, since they take all the scariest parts and plug them into a highlight reel, but this one is a good trailer, as trailers go.  I find it difficult to determine if a horror movie is going to be good or not so one of the first things I do is look at who is directing the film.  In this case, it is James Wan, and I figure this is a great time to dig into the young Director and what I consider to be a very successful young career.

So, James Wan is around 35 years old, give or take a year, and he appeared to the masses with a bang in 2004 when he made one of my favorite horror movies ever, ‘Saw.’  Now, I’m sure there are mixed feelings about ‘Saw’ but in general the film got surprisingly good reviews.  We don’t need to talk about it’s many, many sequels (although some weren’t completely terrible), but rather just that first surprise hit. The reason this film is very special for me is because when I went into the theater to see it, I literally had never heard about it or acknowledged its existence.  I was just late to another movie, and I have this thing about missing the beginning of movies (lost a couple girlfriends over this one…).  Anyway, the film was original, gruesome, scary and contained such a killer twist that it was literally the perfect all around horror experience from my perspective.

Wan followed this with ‘Dead Silence,’ and while this is no ‘Saw’ it was really not too bad in my opinion, and despite some cheesy effects and poor acting, the film had scares and another solid mystery and twist.  As average horror films go, this one was at the upper echelon of the average.

Next Wan strayed from Horror a little and released Death Sentence, with Kevin Bacon, which really wasn’t very good.  But I’ll grant this one a pass, and I think the lesson learned is that Wan is probably better off sticking to horror.

However, Wan’s next film, which I actually only saw relatively recently, was another scary one.  ‘Insidious’ starred Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, and proved to be a genuinely scary, and entertaining horror flick.  The film was able to do some things that I don’t think most horror films can get away with, and still remain scary.  The film started with the usual build up, atmospheric scares.  These were effective and very well done.  However, at some point in the film, they commit what turns out to be a real crime in most horror films these days, which generally ruins them.  This being that they SHOW you the ‘monster’ or ‘bad thing’ if you will.  However, somehow, they pull it off.  James Wan is able to show you what you’re supposed to be scared of, and low and behold, actually make you scared of it.  The last 20 minutes of ‘Insidious’ is creepy as hell, quite frankly.  Impressive stuff.

So, what I can say for James Wan, and his latest film ‘The Conjuring’ is that I have high hopes.  The entertaining director has shown his ability to do the ‘real life,’ serial killer horror like ‘Saw.’  He has shown that he can do the cheesy stuff, with ‘Dead Silence,’ and the haunted house, creepy type stuff with ‘Insidious.’  So now he takes things back in time a little, with what looks like an old fashioned haunted house movie, and I think if he can find a balance between his previous efforts and throw in a slightly less flashy vibe to match the era, then there’s no reason why ‘The Conjuring’ couldn’t be one of the better horror flicks this year.

My props go out to James Wan, and whether you like his films or not, you can’t deny that the guy has a knack for entertaining within his genre.  Now don’t make me look bad buddy.

James Wan

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