The Conjuring

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In the genre of gothic terror the action takes place in a setting that is instrumental to creating terror within the audience through the foreboding atmosphere and use of space to heighten the paranoia felt. The Conjuring is a 2013 horror film directed by James Wan that tells the tale of a young family that moves to a new home with their five daughters and who begin to experience supernatural activity in their home due to the curse of a witch. It uses the idea of a monstrous mother who causes harm to her family, which is seen by the mother’s attempt to murder her children after being possessed. The setting of the film attributes to the horror of the film by converting a home from a safe place for a family to a space that imprisons them to the unknown horrors within. In addition to the house’s worn down appearance, the film uses different spaces to create a fearful and tense mood. The house builds on our preconceptions of different places that people may associate with feelings of dread. The audience does not need to see the ghosts in order to be filled with horror but rather notice something such as the dark closet that is lurking in the background at night, which as children people may identify as a place where monsters or other treacherous beings may be hiding. Instead of providing a comforting environment for a family to grow in, the house ultimately becomes a claustrophobic space that causes their fears and anxieties to grow.

Bibliography
Grider, Sylvia. “The Haunted House in Literature, Popular Culture, and Tradition: A Consistent Image.”Contemporary Legend: The Journal of the International Society For Contemporary Research 2. (1999): 174-204.
Murphy, Bernice M.. “‘You Son of a Bitch! You Only Moved the Headstones!’ Haunted Suburbia.” The suburban gothic in American popular culture. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 104-135. Print.
Poole, W. Scott. “Haunted Houses.” Monsters in America: our historical obsession with the hideous and the haunting. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2011. 167-191. Print.
Punter, David, and Glennis Byron. “Gothic Film.” The Gothic. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. 65-70. Print.
Williams, Tony. “Introduction: Family Assault in the American Horror Film.”Hearths of darkness: the family in the American horror film. Madison [New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1996. 13-30. Print.

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One response to “The Conjuring

  1. I found this post very interesting in its familiarity to my own. Both focus on the space of the home and how it is transformed from a place of comfort and safety to one of horror.

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