let's be real, 'The Conjuring' is Truly terrifying

let's be real, 'The Conjuring' is Truly terrifying

You thought "Insidious" was bad? It is laughable in comparison.

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Horror movies can be tricky. Overusing jump scares is cheap, and if the suspense is drawn out too long, the movie can get boring. If the storyline and characters are shallow, the movie won't stick with you. There is a fine line that modern horror movies walk; the line that determines if the movie is just a Friday night flick or if it will be passed down from generation to generation as one of Hollywood's scariest. I believe that James Wan's 2013 "The Conjuring" falls into the latter category. Not only is the acting, writing, and directing masterfully done, but it is straight-up terrifying. In case you haven't seen it, here's a list of the top #3 reasons why this movie will continue to give it's viewers actual chills up their spines and keep them up at night.

1. Perfect use of suspense.

As I mentioned earlier, suspense can be a hard thing to handle. I think that if it's drawn out too long, the story can become a little boring. Some of you may argue with me and say that prolonged suspense can build a false sense of comfort, and that is true in some cases. Prolonged suspense, for example, works well in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"; we spend the majority of the movie safe from any real scares. The long period of "nothing" scaring us in actuality works for that movie - we start to feel the isolation of the hotel and the eerieness that comes with its daily life. This technique wouldn't have worked in "The Conjuring" though. After the Perron family movies into the home, we almost immediately start to see the fabric of things unravel. The doors opening on their own. The hand claps that aren't made by the kids playing. We get a little time between these things, but inevitably the malevolent spirits pick up their game at a steady pace - the mysterious bruises on Carolyn, the apparition of different ghosts, the attack on the girls as they sleep. The tension and severity of the Perron's interactions with the supernatural grow and grow until you are wound as tight as a bowstring for the climax: the possession of Carolyn Perron.

2. Deep characters.

This point is pretty self-explanatory. The characters have some depth; this has a lot to do with the brilliant acting. The chemistry is so obvious between each of them - when someone is worried about another character's safety, you don't doubt the authenticity of their concerns. In consequence, you feed off of that concern. Not only that, but every gasp, every scream feels so real that it makes your heart clench in your chest. These characters are truly terrified, and that keeps you "in" the movie.

3. The sense of realism.

A lot of horror movies are just unrealistic. Sure they can still be scary, but odds are you aren't going to run into any vampires or werewolves or the Man with the Fire Face from "Insidious" or any killer clowns like Pennywise from "IT" (unless you lived in America during the 2016 clown epidemic). Point being, "The Conjuring" has a more realistic flavor to it. After all, the characters in the movie are based on real people! Whether their story is actually true to any extent is debatable, but it still adds a level of horror to know that somewhere out there, the Perron family and the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren actually exist.

Now let us talk about the antagonists. As I mentioned earlier, the way the antagonists are revealed is stealthy. We don't see the demon for a long time; we get flashes, we get hand claps from unknown sources, our own imagination gets the best of us, and then we get the possession of Carolyn. No fake looking ghouls. Bathsheba Sherman is the name of the evil spirit that has latched herself onto the Perron family; when she was still alive, she practiced witchcraft, killed her children and then hung herself. That's something that could happen in real life! Demented parents are something that actually exists and that is why it's terrifying. Not to mention the exorcism - whether you're a believer or not, records of exorcisms and demonic possessions do actually exist; whether they actually happened is up to you, but the fact that any frights we see in this movie seem more plausible than what happens in a lot of other horror movies is what ultimately leads "The Conjuring" to be one of the scariest movies in the 21st century.

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Can You Guess These 20 Classic Disney Films Based Only On A Terrible Description?

"Pirates vs. Kids. Kids win."

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Throughout many homes in the world, Disney films were (and still are) a staple for the DVD shelf. Most people can proudly say they have seen at least a few Disney films throughout their lifetime, but can you guess what movie is being told through a vague description?

1. Glum insurance representative beats up former admirer.

2. Helicopter Mom makes kidnapped daughter afraid of everything but ends up turning into dust when daughter gets a new haircut.

3. A young aristocrat causes millions in property damage after the death of her parents. 

4. Kid comes out of a closet.

5. Confused lady crawls out of a sewer.

6. Girl who forgets things helps find friends son.

7. A guy kisses a dead girl in the forest while midgets watch.

8. Prince turns into a sarcastic llama. 

9. Humans destroy earth and become fat.

10. Hamlet with big cats.

11. Rat defies all food and safety regulations to cook.

12. Ginger fish falls in love with man.

13. Pirates vs. kids. Pirates lose.

14. An elephant defies the laws of gravity.

15. Fashionista is denied a fabulous new coat.

16. China unleashes the hidden power of feminism.

17. Orphaned sisters foster illegal alien.

18. Greek mythology, the movie.

19. A toy cowboy tries to murder a space ranger for the attention of a boy.

20. Woman falls in love with a very hairy man.

Answers:

1. The Incredibles

2. Rapunzel

3. Frozen

4. Monsters Inc.

5. Enchanted

6. Finding Nemo

7. Snow White

8. Emperor's New Groove

9. WALL-E

10. Lion King

11. Ratatouille

12. Little Mermaid

13. Peter Pan

14. Dumbo

15. 101 Dalmatians

16. Mulan

17. Lilo and Stitch

18. Hercules

19. Toy Story

20. Beauty and the Beast

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'Aquaman' Is A Step In The Right Direction For DC To Measure Up To The Marvel Empire

"Aquaman" had his share of fin-tastic moments and moments that still left you asking, "Water you doing?!"

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The release of "Aquaman" took the box office by typhoon recently, reaching $1.02 billion globally and is second only to "The Dark Night Rises" in DC movie performance. Superhero fans everywhere have fallen in love with Jason Momoa's rendition of "Aquaman," and I bet you'll see a good amount of kids dressed up as this human-Atlantean come costume parties and Halloween time.

Although enjoyed by many, I thought this movie was more on the cliché side of the superhero movie spectrum, and it will take a long time for DC to measure up to the empire that Marvel has built over the years. Although many people had previously preferred the superheroes in the DC Universe and grew up loving the Justice League through the comics, the movies more or less destroyed that fan base. Plus, with the new generation of children looking for who their favorite hero should be, Marvel has had the upper hand.

Besides the advantage that Marvel has over the DC franchise in the quality of computer animation, screenwriting, and amount of star actors that make up the infamous Avengers, Marvel had the leg up on DC starting with the release of "Iron Man" in 2008. Marvel did a great job of planning out the timeline of their superhero movies. By introducing the main members of the Avengers (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) with their own solo movies before releasing the full collaboration with "Avengers," the audience was able to build a relationship with these characters which led them to flood into theaters at the sound of a movie featuring all of their new favorite superheroes. The cycle is simple to see. Introduce new heroes in their own solo movies and then a couple of movies later, tie them all together and make their stories intertwine.

When you look at what DC did with their movies, it's a bit of a different story. For a while, they were doing well. With the separate Batman and Superman movies—fans were raving about their love for those two and their rivalry. It all fell with the release of "Batman v Superman" in 2016 and "Suicide Squad" in the same year. In my opinion, "Batman v Superman" was not that great of a movie, and here we see the introduction of Wonder Woman before her full-length movie. We see this again when "Justice League" came out in 2017 where out of the six featured members of the League, only half of them had had a full-length movie released beforehand. This doesn't allow the audience to really connect to the rest of the team and fall in love with them like they could so easily with The Avengers. But with the success of the solo Wonder Woman movie and the recent success of "Aquaman," the tides may start to be changing.

"Aquaman" takes its audience on a grand adventure, introducing the origin story of how Arthur Curry, played by Jason Momoa, came to be Aquaman and how he tackles waves of challenges to finally inherit the throne as the true King of Atlantis. The sequence of events in this movie makes a lot of sense and doesn't leave the audience confused at points where they don't understand the purpose of a scene. A majority of the people coming to watch the movie that knew of Aquaman never really knew his story from the original version, and the extent of knowledge about Aquaman is that he has the ability to communicate with aquatic animals and breathe underwater. Because of this, I think DC did a great job of taking this character and really making it their own, and more appealing to this modern era. Just look at the old DC comics of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Our recent movie depictions of them are fairly similar looking to the comic book versions. Then, look at Momoa as Aquaman. DC is starting to head in the right direction.

Before we continue, I must give you a SPOILER ALERT. We're going to take a deep dive into this movie to break it down and let you know what this may mean for the DC franchise and to do that I'm going to have to reference specific parts of this movie. Also, I promise this was the last of the ocean puns.

There were a lot of great things about this movie that shows some potential for the future of DC. If you're a movie-goer just looking for a fun movie to watch with friends and family, this is a solid choice. The story is easy to follow for little kids, and as a whole, the costumes in this movie were amazing enough for all ages to appreciate. From the simplest things like the tribal-like tattoos all over Aquaman's body to the outfit he sports as he emerges from the waterfall yielding the trident of King Atlan, it is a very modern and cool take on the persona of Aquaman, far from the 1960s original.

The love story between Arthur's parents, Tom Curry and Atlanna, played by Temuera Morrison and Nicole Kidman respectively, was so beautiful and was such a heartwarming moment for the audience when, after waiting every day at the end of the dock for his wife to return, they are finally reunited.

The action scenes were very entertaining, especially because they did a great job of highlighting the different environments the characters were fighting in and showing how it brings out the strengths and weaknesses between Arthur and his brother Orm, played by Patrick Wilson.

I thought the CGI was stellar in this movie as well. When traveling underwater, the hair of the characters move so gracefully as if they were naturally underwater when filming. During the first fight scene between Arthur and Orm in the ring of fire, the special effects of the ripples in the water every time their tridents collided were amazing to see. Plus, who can forget about the scene when Arthur and Mera, played by Amber Heard, first reach the dangerous trench and encounter those insane monsters? The improved CGI in this movie and in "Wonder Woman" has really been helping DC get back in the game.

On the other hand, there were a lot of things holding this movie back from reaching Marvel-level. If you're one of those people looking for a quality movie to watch full of high-level cinematography and well thought out dialogue between characters, you won't find it here. Let's start with the first moment Arthur comes on screen. He bursts into the sub and that rockstar electric guitar riff plays and his first words are "Permission to come aboard?" ARE YOU SERIOUS? I actually laughed out loud in the theater when he said that. It is so cliché, but it's also DC, so it leaves me to wonder if it was done on purpose as a comedic moment or it was just poor writing.

Speaking of comedy in this film, it was definitely full of moments of times that seemed funny that weren't intended to be and times that tried to be funny but didn't even get a single chortle from the audience. Take for example almost every scene with Black Manta in it. When he was in his little workspace trying to create a new suit fusing his style with the Atlantian technology, he narrowly dodges a laser beam shot out from the new helmet he was creating. He looks up to see his helmet destroyed and says "Hmm. Think I'm gonna need a bigger helmet." The writers don't stop there with that terrible line. They actually give the audience the bigger helmet! Although the costuming overall was great, Black Manta's was a complete disaster making him look more like a huge beetle than a manta ray. His whole storyline with Aquaman seems forced, and I was a bit disappointed to see in the end credits that he would be seen in the sequel to this movie if it is made.

In addition, although I did say that the CGI was beautiful in this movie, it does get a little bit overwhelming throughout. As scenes move, the underwater cities become too blurred as the camera pans and the colorful buildings become kind of dull and boring by the end.

In terms of Jason Momoa's take on Aquaman, I thought it was cool to see a more laid back, almost surfer like kind of superhero, but at times, the immaturity of his character kind of took away from him making relationships with other characters. The chemistry between him and Mera didn't seem real enough, and I feel as though the deep meaning of his relationship with Vulko, played by Willem Dafoe, wasn't expressed to the audience as well as it should have been.

Overall, "Aquaman" and its warm acceptance by fans all over the world shows DC's great progress in making better films and restrengthening their franchise. However, it's going to take a lot more than King Arthur of Atlantis and Princess Diana of Themyscira to rebuild DC to even compare to what Marvel has built.

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