While it isn’t recommended for all audiences, “The Conjuring” has stood the test of time in a way many horror franchises haven’t. The series is likely coming to an end in “The Conjuring: Last Rites,” but the original will always be a classic. Because of its timeless setting and devotion to frightening the audience, the film is a modern classic. This has to do with James Wan’s direction and how the movie delivers horrifying visuals.
“Great jump scares are really hard to pull off,” Wan explained in an interview with The Shelf. “I just don’t think people out there understand it enough, and people don’t give it enough credit because a great jump scare is really hard to design. It is as hard as making any kind of film.”
As hard as it is, the director gets the job done. “The Conjuring” has one of the most unexpected scares in any modern horror film. While Ed and Lorraine are investigating the Perron house for a haunting, they walk outside to a large tree. The audience first sees Lorraine’s look of horror as she turns to face her husband, and before you know it, Wan cuts to a sudden visual of a hanging woman behind Ed, with no preamble. The film is populated with genuinely surprising cuts like this, which are not preempted with cues such as spooky music. Viewers are with the characters completely, which is why the series is so frightening and not exactly recommended for kids.