I keep returning to The Conjuring every few years not because it scares the shit out of me – it doesn’t – but because Wan clearly aspires to a certain level of craft and calibre within the genre and pours a lot of sweat into making those jump-scares really work. From the title treatment and the presence of “proper” actors like Patrick Wilson (Wan’s muse), Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor (fantastic) given the heavy-lifting, you can tell Friedkin’s The Exorcist is something of an ideal for Wan, a proper shit-your-pants, crowd-chilling horror movie that doubles up as a legitimate awards contender. This never went the full distance but for a lot of people – check that box office intake – it certainly kept them up at night. I admire its purity and Wan’s total commitment to scaring the shit out his audience in inventive and classy ways. Whether or not that includes me is irrelevant. Like a well-oiled carnival ride, it works.
Watched on blu-ray.