5 Things I Learned From The Conjuring Trailer
No matter what I watch lately, I cannot seem to avoid horror movie trailers. It started with the creeptastic Mama ad, which was fun the first time I saw it, but decidedly less fun by the one hundredth. Shortly after Mama, along came Keri Russell and a flock of suicidal birds to haunt me in the Dark Skies trailer. As relentless as those two were, the title for worst offender has to go to the inescapable The Last Exorcism Part 2 trailer and its demonic contortionist routine. That ad seemed to be stalking me Michael Myers style in the weeks leading up to its release.
While all of the trailers eventually came to annoy me on one level or another, the one thing none of them accomplished was to inspire me to rush out to the theater. Instead, they left me puzzled as to why the studios seemed to have forgotten Halloween isn’t until October. Then, just as I was beginning to wonder if it was possible to get horror movie fatigue without actually watching any horror movies, along came The Conjuring trailer.
Prior to viewing the trailer, I hadn’t heard a peep about The Conjuring (although upon further research, I discovered it has been generating major buzz among horror aficionados). The only reason I saw the trailer at all is because I was waiting for a YouTube video to load when the first strains of “Time of the Season” caught my attention. I’m used to ads playing before videos on YouTube these days, so I was prepared to wait out the five second countdown until I could click through to my video, then Lili Taylor started playing a game of hide and seek with her children and despite myself, I was captivated. I was also a little terrified as the images on my computer screen became increasingly intense, and by the end, deeply impressed that I was watching a horror movie trailer interesting enough to keep me from skipping through it when the option presented itself. Before we go any further, watch the trailer for yourself:
Now that you’ve been traumatized too, let’s carry on. Unlike the trailers I mentioned above, which all have a distinct been there, been possessed by that before quality, The Conjuring uses familiarity to its advantage. It presents itself as a fairly straightforward haunted house movie, but by focusing on one particularly tense sequence it sets itself apart from the pack. Other trailers give everything away as they hit viewers with one gruesome, twisted image after another. They’re all noise, no build-up. The Conjuring teaser is just the opposite: it’s scary because it builds up to one big scare instead of trying to pack thirty into a two minute spot.
As you can tell, the trailer left quite an impression on me. So much so, that this week, I have decided to share with you five things I learned from The Conjuring trailer:
I usually associate clapping with nice things like applause and The Clapper. It’s not a particularly scary sound, or at least I didn’t think it was until Taylor went and taught a ghost how to play a truly frightening version of hide and seek. (Honestly, doesn’t that game already have enough ways it can go horribly awry without adding a blindfold and sinister clapping into the mix?)
This isn’t the first time one of Taylor’s characters has ended up in a haunted locale. Before she found her way to the rundown farm house in The Conjuring, she took up residence in a sprawling mansion frequented by the undead in the 1999 remake of The Haunting. Also along for the ride was Owen Wilson, brother of Luke Wilson, who co-stars alongside Taylor and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) in The Conjuring. Let’s just hope Luke’s character fares better than Owen’s did.
Impressed as I was, I couldn’t help but shake my head when Taylor went into the basement. That’s horror movie and life rule number one: never go into the basement. It doesn’t matter if there’s a ghost, ax murderer or a mouse down there, it’s just not going to end well.
Even though I know that slapping “based on a true story” on a horror movie is a go-to move for Hollywood, it still gives me pause. In this case the true story refers to an incident in Harrisville, Rhode Island that was investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Wilson and Farmiga), the same husband and wife team that gained fame for tackling the alleged Amityville haunting.
I mean no disrespect to James Wan, who has more than proven himself as a director, but my first instinct is to run away from anything that mentions Saw. I am simply not the target audience for Wan’s most famous work. However, The Conjuring appears to be more along the lines of Poltergeist, one of the few scary movies I love. That combined with the goose-bump inducing teaser, has put The Conjuring on my must see list and, for the moment at least, made me feel a little less hostile toward horror movie trailers.
The Conjuring hits theaters July 19, 2013. For more information on the film, check out our first look post.
Were you as impressed by The Conjuring trailer as I was? What is the scariest trailer you’ve ever seen? Sound off in the comments!
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