Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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September 6, 2013

YOU'VE GOT A BETTER IDEA?: Beware of The Hype

In this Associated Press photo, Vera Farmiga portrays Lorraine Warren in a scene from "The Conjuring."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a matter of hope versus hype, with hope so often the loser.

Horror film aficionados are familiar with the struggle. We're the people who sound off at length — no doubt annoyingly, to those less engaged with the topic — about the merits of classic fright flicks. Our cinematic bedrock is "Halloween," "The Exorcist," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Psycho," "Night of the Living Dead." We acknowledge the visceral jolt of these movies, but are more than happy to chat about their Deeper Meaning. In our view, we offer enjoyable company. Others may disagree.

Horror film buffs are forever on a quest for the next classic. We're often disappointed. We've been hurt before.

Truth be told, we've had a good run in recent years. "The Last Exorcism" and the first "Paranormal Activity" — file them under the "found footage" horror film subset — satisfied our need for 1.) In-the-moment impact, and 2.) Lingering unease and something to think about long after the credits rolled.

So we were primed for "The Conjuring," brimming as it was with advance praise. It's a demon possession/haunted house-themed movie that certain critics promised was so...very....scary.

This particular viewer was filled to bursting with hope. His reward?

Hype.

"The Conjuring" is by no means a bad film. It delivers the requisite frights, fleeting as they are. But I failed to find much more in it than run-of-the-mill multiplex shock-warfare scare fare.

Critical aside: Actress Vera Farmiga is in this film. As in any other movie she's been in — "Orphan," "Joshua," "Up in the Air," etc. — she inhabits her role in "The Conjuring." In other words, watch "The Conjuring" if for nothing else than to see Vera Farmiga at work.

"The Conjuring" won't be the world's last horror film. Horror movie fans? We'll see what comes next. We cling to hope.

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.