Most of us are fascinated with scary movies.
No matter how strange it sounds, most people love getting scared.
The Conjuring movies are considered as one of the best and scariest movies of our time. So, what did they do right?
Let’s dig deep and find out the essential factors that made the Conjuring movies so good!
There is something in horror that addresses the human animal directly.
We evolved through ages and with time our minds developed some fear triggers, which again is related to our survival instincts.
The fear of creatures that can kill us; with fangs or poison is almost natural. We don’t learn to fear a big animal with claws or sharp teeth in our school!
We just look at them and get scared; sometimes it’s the big animals, and sometimes it’s creepy insects or poisonous snakes.
The Conjuring movies have no monsters or scary animals. However, it had effects on people’s mind.
Let’s see how.
What is the allure of Horror?
Dr Glenn D. Walters identified three main factors of the horror allure:
Created through shock, terror, gore, suspense, and mystery.
It can be of universal, relevant fear of the unknown and death. It can be culturally relevant elements like societal issues. It can also be related to sub-groups, like teenagers, children, or college going people. Lastly, there is personal relevance; where the viewer is made to relate with the protagonist or the antagonist.
Despite the impressive prosthetics and VFX, the viewer knows somewhere that all of these are not real. That provides them with some comfort and readies the brain to accept almost everything in the movie. People who get disturbed with real-world footage of mutilation or accidents, don’t mind watching a gory movie.
Therefore, horror movies that create high levels of tension are relevant at a universal level, as well as maintains a certain a certain level of unrealism has a great horror appeal.
The conjuring movies had all these three elements.
Think about it for a while. It built tension; it created a fear that is universally relevant: the fear of living somewhere where there is an absence of holiness and pure evil. Finally, the unrealism was obviously there, even though it claimed to be inspired by real events.
What worked for the Conjuring movies?
Sigmund Freud (founder of psychoanalysis) said that horror came from, “uncanny.” The imagination of things that are primitive but somehow suppressed by one’s ego.
Carl Jung (founder of analytical psychology) said that horror or scary movies tapped into primordial archetypes, which are buried somewhere in our subconscious.
The portrayal of spirits being possessed by demons, a doll that is pure evil, childhood nightmares, and a demon taking the form of one of the holiest figures, a Nun, are all uncanny and at the same time a fear that is buried deep down.
Noel Carrol (Film Scholar) believes that horror movies are the product of fascination and curiosity. Horror is not regular; instead, it exists outside the everyday normal behaviour.
The conjuring movies are usually about regular people falling prey to an unholy evil entity is again relatable, and at the same time, it’s not regular.
Finally, horror movies reflect our societal fear as well.
The Mutant Monsters rose to fame in the 50s. It came from America people’s fear of nuclear experiments.
In the 60s the Zombies came to spotlight, and that somehow came from our fear of pandemic diseases and cannibalism.
Similarly, the Conjuring movies dealt with sin, unholy, and evil demons that threatened religion.
The Conjuring movies imagined evil entities much similar to the way many other previous horror movies did, but it presented differently.
A couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, saving families from evil spirits and demons and struggling with their own problems made them look relatable.
Therefore, it’s not just the story or the characters but how they built up characters that made the Conjuring movies more appealing.