Ebiri: The Conjuring Makes Screams the Old-Fashioned Way - It Earns Them

In James Wan's The Conjuring, the camera doesn't just follow, it stalks. It peers, pursues, intrudes, and it never seems to let up. It starts to follow a young girl and her mother through their new house, then cuts to an ominous zoom toward another sister, then cuts to a shot that cranes up to reveal the house from outside. The family and their house — the "victims" — seem to be always in the center of the frame. Like the demons that will soon pursue these characters, the camera doesn’t let go. More so than the actual scares — and there are plenty of those, too — The Conjuring succeeds because of all that anticipation of dread things to come. The damned thing works you so well that you may even consider leaving halfway through, for fear you'll have a heart attack.



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