The Conjuring Universe has definitely left its mark on cinema
I, for one, believe that The Conjuring Universe was so commercially successful because it did not feel like an exploitation of the horror genre. It did not unnecessarily rely on jump scares, sickening gore and the usual scare tactics that we have all been accustomed to in watching almost every generic run-of-the-mill horror-themed movie, churned out every year by various film and production studios.
Instead of relying mostly on those methods of filmmaking, it took the more traditional and time-tested formula, which, of course, includes entertainment, but in the most sophisticated manner possible. This incorporates a great deal of storytelling as one of its huge components in their style of filmmaking, which the studio heads behind the first “The Conjuring” have followed faithfully in every sequel and spin-off they have made.
Admittedly, even if I am a fan of horror, there are a lot of movies out there that only appeal to the truly twisted, and I know where to draw the line when it comes to those kinds of movies because there is an unmistakable difference between cinematic horror and sick-horror. “The Conjuring” is a fine and perfect example of a well-made and intelligent cinematic horror meant for all moviegoers of the proper legal age for viewing.
There will always be the more hardcore group of horror fans who want more gore, more blood and more violence, but then there is also a more moderate group of horror fans who can accept what the movie has to offer.
It is impossible to please every single moviegoer. Either way, I believe the studio did do its very best in maximizing the continued appeal of The Conjuring Universe, as long as they could.
Props to them because when I look back I can say that “The Conjuring” did not further dumb down the genre but reminded everyone who got to watch it, either in theaters and/or at home via movie channels and online streaming services, that in this day and age, it is still possible to make quality horror.
Indeed, once you have a very infamous real-life-based paranormal case to tell, one of the original surviving paranormal investigators in the late Lorraine Warren as consultant, a decent screenplay, a capable director in James Wan, and an above-average cast (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), then all of these aforementioned components would produce great results, as the first movie did. It is a no-brainer that things will fall right into place.
The Conjuring Universe only became possible after the massive box office gross that the first movie got when the final numbers were tallied for domestic and international ticket sales. Then and only then were future plans feasible and realistically possible for the movie studio.
To say that the movie got its money back would be a huge understatement. It earned more than enough money to assure sequels and spin-offs to which we have been seeing on an almost a yearly basis, and it has not stopped despite the recent offerings being more generic in nature or failed to come quite close to the overall appeal of “The Conjuring” that started it all. Realistically, it has been proven in the history of cinema that it is virtually impossible to beat the strength, appeal and quality of any first movie of a franchise.
Yes, the Annabelle movies were hit-and-miss but they were entertaining without question. They went from being an origin story to a prequel and then a sequel of the prequel. The Annabelle movies covered all ground and made sure to leave no plot holes and questions by the time the moviegoer had watched all of them. Honestly, I think the studio was beginning to feel that moviegoers have had their fill of that raggedy doll, so naturally, it was time to explore other potential properties of the The Conjuring Universe.
This leads me to the next spin-off which was “The Nun.” It was more methodical in its storytelling, slowed down the pacing of the movie, and was more in tune with the fictitious historical aspects of a popular on-screen character in The Conjuring Universe. I found it to be one of the better entries.
From a haunted house to a demon-possessed inanimate object, to a nun turned evil and much more, it can’t be more varied than that. What ties them all in? They all take place and belong into one universe, that of “‘The Conjuring.”
They all clearly belonged to the category of cinematic horror, and they have stayed true to it despite getting mixed reviews, some harsh criticisms and fluctuating box office sales. They did not make any extreme changes to the formula firmly established since the beginning. The logic here is this: why fix something that is not broken? And I believe this is a conscious effort by all means behind the studio heads of every new sequel and spin-off of “The Conjuring.”
That is why there are high hopes that the third direct sequel will possibly end everything on a high note for the popular horror franchise. I know the answer to that because I have already watched it.
Is “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” the final entry to the The Conjuring Universe? If it is, then what a final chapter it is.
For now, The Conjuring Universe has definitely left its mark on cinema and will undoubtedly influence future filmmakers for years to come.
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