My 3rd week in media

My 3rd ever podcast! This week I review “The legend of Tarzan”, “The neon demon”, “Ghostbusters” and “Sons of anarchy: season 1”. I’ve tried to listen to feedback and the big change is the addition of a swoosh sound effect to help break down reviews and trailers. Again everyone was lovely about the last podcast and i’m glad even more people are coming up top me and saying they’ve seen it it really surprises me. I am attempting to upgrade production value with a bit of work over the summer i be at a stage where i can put them all on intunes and be happy with them (Hence the slow introduction of things like sound effects). I really hope you enjoy and if you do please either like this or let me know on any social media what you think of my opinions (Its usually negative so say what you like :D)


 

 

Timestamps-

Legend of Tarzan – 3.00

Neon Demon – 18.34

Ghostbusters – 29.49

Sons of anarchy season 1 – 40.14

Written and Hosted by Dawson Roberts

 

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Ghostbusters

 

The first Ghostbusters trailer is the most disliked film trailer of all time, and fair play. The trailer was a disaster. It was a mixture of unfunny clips and a half put together story, with what looked like a terrible cast and abysmal CGI. This meant that going into this film my opinion had already been tainted. Every trailer from that point on was bound to be labelled as awful, or the worst thing ever made, just because of the first trailer. The concept to me seemed awful, and I will admit that I was one of the many people who completely ripped this film to shreds. I hated this film with every single bone in my body and nothing could make me change my mind about the sin that this was going to be. It featured a cast i hated, a director i hated and a reputation to live up to (Ghostbusters being one of my favorite films of all time) it was not looking good. But what i will say is that although there were still elements i hated in every trailer, they did get funnier with each one. But now i have seen this film the constant hate messages, abuse letters, slaughter and hate this film got, all seems really undeserved. I may be very controversial but i will admit when i am wrong, and i hate to say it but Ghostbusters is probably one of the most entertaining movies of the year so far. I would even go as far as saying its probably better than Ghostbusters 2. Now that was hard to say.

Ghostbusters is directed by Paul Fieg, a director I really dislike. He constantly works with everybody’s favorite fat friend, Melisa McCarthy, and managed to make her the typecast actress  she is now. So when it was announced that not only would Paul fieg be directing but Melisa McCarthy would be joining him, this film was instantly in my bad books. But like I said earlier, and will be saying a lot during this review, i was wrong. Not only does Melisa really work for this role all of the cast outdo the expectations I had. The cast is made up of the 4 main ghostbusters Melisa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones each of them make up the new female team which is all coordniated by their useless secratary, Kevin, played by Chris Hemsworth. The ghostbusters team themselves have such good chemistry and I love seeing them on screen together. Every time they come together they fit really nicely as a pack. It reminds me very much of the first time we see all the original ghostbusters team up and work together. Kate McKinnon stands out to me as the funniest ghostbuster as her quirkiness made her standout above the crowd, and while eveyone had a distinctive trait hers stood out to me the most. The villian played by Neil Casey was okay however I’ll talk more about him when I go into the plot. The majority of the side cast was really funny aswell and worked really well, however a couple did seem a bit cheesy at times, however for the most part they were pretty good. But too me the standout character in this is Chris Hemsworth. Every single line he had was killing me, he was so funny and his comic timing is brilliant, something I didn’t think I’d be saying about Thor. Not only are his scenes funny but they’re memorable, and his lines and jokes stand out to me more than any other in the film. He out does ever other cast member including all the ghostbusters and is probably my favourite ever ghostbuster character. The team dynamic is what makes the cast great though. Even though the concept of female ghostbusters was heavily frowned upon you can’t watch this film and not see the amazing chemistry the 4 girls have with each other.

“Can i bring my cat to work?”

The plot itself reminds me very much of the original ghostbusters and it’s nice to see the homages in just the way the film is structured. The film has a way or using basic plot structure to intrigue you and although the plot isn’t amazing it’s nice to see a film go back to basics and not have to constantly throw plot twists at you too keep it interesting. The villian himself is a very by numbers villian but it works. Every villian in ghostbusters has been very similar in that sense, and I don’t mind the fact that this one is the same. The film builds its villian up for the big third act and I think it paid off really well. The use of one character in particular, leading the ghosts, worked really well and I loved the way they did the huge ghost battle. I like the fact that this film went back to basics with plot and genuinely felt like a ghostbusters film. There were those moments when the cast were suiting up and preparing for a fight that were so cool and worked so well. There were moments which felt genuinely badass (I’m thinking the kate McKinnon pistol scene in particular). But most of all there were moments where it felt like I was watching the original film! Thats what this film needed the most.

Techinally this film was shaping up to be terrible, the CGI looked bad and the soundtrack was shaping up to be awful. Like the majority of things I originally thought, I was very wrong to assume. The CGI was actually very impressive and some of the large scale destruction looked brilliant, and the use of smoke CGI was pretty solid. The actual proton beams looked amazing and it’s the best looking ghostbusters we’ve ever had. What the original did really well ,and a reason as to why it holds up so well today, is its use of practical effects. This film equally does this and is a reason as to why this could easily hold up in the future. The props look great and the use of things like slime really grounded the film. It would have been very easy for the film to use a lot of CGI for some of the action moments but I really appreciated the use of practical effects all round. The soundtrack was actually something I really liked in this. The ghostbusters song by fall out boy I really hate on its own, but when accompanied by a badass sequence of the ghostbusters driving around in the Ecto-1 for the first time it really works. I loved the music for the most part, however I think the modern ghostbusters theme (without vocals) should have been used either more, or closer to the end (maybe in the big final battle). Other than that I really liked the music and the way it worked with the film. The cinematography was for the most part good and the directing istelf is probably Pauls best work to date.

The proton beams look insanely good

If I was to point out issues it would be that not every joke landed the way I think it was supposed too, I think a 12a rating was the reason for this. I was particularly irritated by the use of swearing, how it was used at some points but not at others and replaced with words like “shoot”, it didn’t fit with the tone and ruined some moments. Yes it is a kids film, but there is swearing in the film I think it should have been used more wisely (a 15 rated Blu-Ray cut would/could fix this). Sometimes the pacing was off, but  I blame that on editing. The first time Melissa and Kristen met was also bit awkward and the use of immature humour doesn’t really pop up throughout any of the film and  I don’t know why it was used so much at the start. Other than that there was a just a couple of other niggles I had.

Overall, I can’t be more happy to have actually enjoyed this film. I will be one of the first to say sorry to Paul Feig. I have given this film so much hate and I regret it all now. I couldn’t have been more wrong this film did the title justice, it’s one of the best reboots we’ve had. I really hope this film does well and we get a sequel. I never in a million years thought that I would happily go and see the female ghostbusters reboot multiple times at the cinema. This shows that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover (or a film by its trailer). Take the time to go and see this film, it’s better than it looks. that is coming from the person who was having a one man war with this film and regards the original ghostbusters as one of the greatest films ever made.

Written by Dawson Roberts

Release Date- 11th of July 2016

Directed by Paul Feig
Produced by
Written by

My 2nd week in media

My 2nd ever podcast! This time ive tried to improve on everything that was wrong with the first. That means shorter ten minute reviews, star rating system instead of numbers and a more relaxed style. There are still some issues I’m trying to iron out but overall its a definite improvement over last week. This week I have reviewed 4 films (in response to some not being particularly fussed with my OITNB review(there will be some TV reviews throughout though)) these films are; Ice age 5, Now you see me 2, Absolutely Fabulous: the movie and Central Intelligence.

I really appreciate everything people have said about the previous one because I put a lot of effort into it and it’s nice to be recognized for that effort. I hope that this week’s was an improvement over last week’s and if there’s anything at all you think I should change don’t be afraid to tell me. If you think it’s crap tell me, if you don’t like the changes then tell me. My aim is to make this the best it can be and that can only happen if I get feedback.

I realize this has a couple of sound glitches and I’ll try not to make that an issue next time. I also want to bridge the trailers and my voice perhaps with a swoosh sound effect or something similar. I want to make it become more seamless than it is now and I hope that may improve the flow of the podcast each week.

Time stamps-

Central Intelligence- 2.26

Absolutely Fabulous- 10.27

Now you see me 2- 20.24

Ice age: Collision course- 34.16

 

 

My week in media

So I haven’t put a post on here for nearly 2 weeks now and that’s because I’ve been extremely busy with lots of various things. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t been watching films but what it does mean is that I haven’t had the time to make posts for them. At the moment I have around 7-8 posts that are in the draft stage and as some of these films are no longer at the cinema its likely these wont see the light of day until the BD or DVD releases. But because I’ve been so busy it drew to light 2 major flaws with this blog, hopefully this will help solve those flaws a little bit.

The first flaw was that i haven’t  been reviewing every film I could. I see around 3-4 films a week most of which are at the cinema, and along with school and other outside activities i cannot review every film to a standard I’m happy with. I’m working on so many different things that its near impossible to review everything i see, so i realized i needed a way around this. The second and biggest flaw was that I’m not exactly a brilliant writer, I make lots of grammatical errors and I struggle to notice them. I am trying to improve in that but I know personally that i am a better speaker than I am writer.

So to combat both of those issues, and listen to advice given to me by people who take the time to read my posts, I should just talk about them. So I’m starting this, “My week in media” a weekly podcast in which I review every film I saw in the week . This means I can remove all issues I have with my blog and make it more like me. This by no means, means I’m ending my blog this will continue with reviews throughout the podcasts tenure. However this does mean reviews on the blog will be less frequent but hopefully around 1 or 2 a week. This allows me to talk about every single film I see without the pressure of the blog, its also a lot quicker (or it will be when I get better at editing).

So without further ado here is “My week in media Week 1”, its a crap title i Realize but its catchy so its staying for now. This isn’t the best i admit but I’ve worked really hard on it and I know what to change for future installments. The main thing ill be changing in the future will be the length of the podcast, I understand this is too long however it is digestible and can bed listened in multiple parts. In future my aim is to do 10 minute reviews and make the podcast around 45 minutes long.

 

Time stamps-

Independence day resurgence- 3.08

Elvis and Nixon- 21.00

The mist- 32.25

Orange is the new black: Season 4 – 52.57

 

 

If you have listened THANKYOU!  let me know what you think i appreciate any feedback 🙂

 

 

The conjuring 2

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The Conjuring is one of the best horror films of recent years, it’s brilliant cast and well crafted scares outdid the cliché plot on the surface. After an abysmal spinoff which ruined everything good about the original, a sequel was very risky in my books. Was it going to be the same as Annabelle? or the original? Bearing in mind Annabelle made a similar amount of money as the conjuring did, it could have gone either way. Well thankfully the conjuring 2 decided to lean in the way of its predecessor, and not Annabelle, the result? one of the best films of the year so far and one of the most well made horror films of the last 15 years.

I’ve spoken a lot about Modern horror (anything past the year 2000) in my reviews and how much I usually dislike it. But every so often you get a gem, a “It follows” or a “Saw” will pop up in the midst of crap like “Paranormal Activity 5” or more recently “The Darkness”. There are probably a handful of truly great Modern Horror films that can be compared to the levels of classics like say “The shining”. I admit it’s a hard level to reach but the majority of attempts don’t even come close to it. For me I can’t speak highly enough of “The conjuring 2” everything about this film is near flawless. James Wan has managed to create an intense thrill ride that not only doesn’t cop out in scares, but is brilliantly made.

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The Conjuring 2, as I just said, is directed by James Wan and stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga again as Ed and Lorraine Warren. This time the film is tackling the infamous Enfield case, in which a young girl is possibly being possessed by a poltergeist. The film follows a very similar format to the original with it opening with a previous case and then switching back an forth between Ed and Lorraine, building up the horror in the Enfield house, only for the second half of the film to bring both parties together. My issue with the first film is primarily about clichés, 80% of the plot and scares could be predicted very easily which ruined some of the fun that it was bringing. However even when predictable the film managed to entertain me and surprise me by how well done each scare was. This film completly fixed that issue, both the plot and the majority of scares are completely devoid of clichés, with only 1 or 2 odd scares being predictable. Even the predictable ones were still fun though, they were mostly big scares so they’re satisfying enough for you to still enjoy them. The main joy for me though came from the fact that I thought I knew the scares. I thought I had a scare figured out but then as if from nowhere the scare would completely change. Because of all this the film is genuinely scary and unique. At no point are terrible sound cue jump scares used and James Wans signature use of practical effects is truly at its best here.

The cast is again fantastic, from the children’s genuine fear being evident too Ed and Lorraine’s insanely good chemistry in screen the cast is somehow better than its predecessor. I’m glad to say that the conjuring 2 had brought back my trend of amazing child actors and I’m hoping that in the future this continues. These kids can show terror, most adult actors struggle to show as realistic terror thpse kids some of which are around 11 years old. My only issue with the cast is the young boy with the stutter, although not in it very often when he is it can get slightly annoying and feels a bit forced. It doesn’t however at any point deter from the scares on screen. There is a man in this film (I’m avoiding spoilers as much as possible) called bill, saying as little as possible this was amazingly cast and he does his jo

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b very well.

This film has some of the best directing and cinematography I’ve seen in not only a mainstream Horror film but indie horror as well. The use of certain uncut tracking shots is brilliant especially when introducing the family this film is about. The shots and use of Dutch angles to me seems perfect and is exactly how i would have done it had me been in James Wans shoes. I never felt like any type of shot got over used and I really liked the quick crane shots.The editing is fantastic, a perfect example of this would be the opening case (amytiville). The long tracking shot and the amazing cuts when the air shotgun is fired is highly intense. Every second of this scene is drowning in excellence, it’s easily my favourite scene in the film and it sets you up for the tension that follows. The only technical aspect is wasn’t a fan of was the CGI, it’s not a lot but every so often there was a CGI window pane, or something similar, and this slightly took me out of the moment. This was so minimal that it again rarely effected my experience. The script was amazing however I have one slight issue that I will elaborate on later. The directing is brilliant, the way this film comes together shows how good James Wan is, no aspect of the film feels like it’s let down by another.

As I mentioned the script has one slight issue, while for 95% of the script is sublime there are a couple of times where I feel like the “British slang” is very forced and cliche. The perfect example would be the first screen of the children in the school yard in which in a 2 minute scene we hear “wanker”, ” Bloody hell” and I’m pretty sure I hear the word “governor” at some point. It’s the worst scene in the film and thankfully this very rarely makes it past this short scene. I don’t know what Americans think we talk like, but it’s not this at all.

From start to finish this film is near perfect. I love the cast, directing style, scares, plot and cinematography which is rare for a film like this. If the first one was good this blows it completely out of the water. My favourite films this year are all films that have completly surprised me; Hardcore Henry, Everybody wants some (both of which will be reviewed soon) and now the conjuring 2 it’s been a great year for films so far I just hope we get more gems like this.

Written By Dawson Roberts

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Release Date- 17th of June 2016

Directed by- James Wan

Produced by- Peter Safran, Rob Cowan, James Wan

Screenplay by- James Wan, Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes, David Leslie Johnson

The Boss

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The boss is the latest film starring everybody’s favourite fat friend Melissa McCarthy. Melissa McCarthy has a issue of being very type cast, every single film she’s been in she plays the same character, from “Identity theif” to “Tammy” she always seems to play this fat character that’s always a bitch to everyone around her. The boss as expected puts Melissa McCarthy in the exact same role as every other film she’s been in and makes her a unlikeable character who with the help of a likeable character becomes likeable herself. It’s generic and unimaginative which unfortunately is now what you expect when you see a Melissa McCarthy film.

The film is directed by Ben Falcone and surprisingly is written and produced by will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Melissa herself. You’d think with a group of talented comedians such as that this film would have a lot of potential however it really doesn’t. The plot follows Michelle Darnell a very rich and successful entrepreneur who after a fight with her ex samurai boyfriend (Peter dinklage) gets arrested and loses all her money. This means she now has to deal with normal people and right her wrongs,so to do that she destroys an entire girl scout group, forms “a brownie empire” and tries to make her fortune back. While that to some may sound funny to some, to me it didn’t work very well. Much alike everything in this film it’s a very generic story with little to no imagination. The story never goes anywhere substantial, we get a very cliche sub plot about what it means to have a family and a bit of a “fight scene” at the end. Of course not every comedy needs a amazing story to be a great comedy (Deadpool is a good example of this) if the film consistently makes you laugh then it does it’s job. Admittedly it doesn’t take a lot to make me laugh and on a couple of occasions the film did make me chuckle, the rest of the cinema however (which I’ll add was quite full) were not laughing at all. When I saw 22 jump Street the entire cinema was in hysterics and the same goes for most comedies I’ve seen in the cinemas, but this film could not elicit a single laugh from the audience. The key to making a good comedy is simple, make people laugh. When your film fails to do that for the majoirty of its runtime it’s a sign this film isn’t very good. As I said at times it did make me laugh and so in some respect it did it’s job, but none of the jokes were very imaginative or clever.

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Were never not told that Melisa McCarthy is a rich self centred fat cat

The cast were all round very average, none of the child actors were any good and it’s ruined my recent trend of great child actors (ignoring “The darkness”). Mellisa McCarthy did nothing different to any other role she’s ever played and it just led to more dull moments. She’s been so typecast now that just seeing do anything remotely different would be a welcome surprise. Kristen Bell plays the friend and ex colleague of Melissa, Michelle, and is truly awful. She comes across as awkward and the least motherly a person can be. It’s surprising how bad she actually is considering her track record is relatively okay. There’s simply no life or emotion in her character, I never felt any connection to her and it just seemed like she was doing the bare minimum in ever scene. Peter dinklage has been shown to pretty awful in almost everything except game of thrones and while in this he’s the best actor it certainly doesn’t mean he’s good. He always seems awkward on screen and I don’t think this role worked particularly well for him, it would have been better if it had been someone like will ferrel and he had more screen time. Peter is funny but i still think its not really the right role for him. The fact we see very little of his character is the reason I don’t think he’s very good in this, he’s underdeveloped and when on screen he’s really funny so it confuses me why he’s in it so little.

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Peter Dinklage is the best part of the whole film and he's not even that good

The directing is pretty dull and uninspired along with pretty much every other technical aspect. A highlight could be the slow motion fight scene between the girls but even that has been done plenty of times before. The Soundtrack is very generic and boring and cinematography is not at all impressive like the majority of things, it’s the bare minimum. It’s hard for me to talk about any of the technical aspects because none of them are at all interesting, they’re not particularly bad but they’re not good either, just average.

Now obviously I’m not going into this film expecting a masterpiece but I would have liked more than what I got. Mellisa McCarthy needs to try something different which is probably what ghostbusters will be, however I’m not speaking about the sin that is the ghostbusters reboot just yet, it’s become boring to see her in this role where she’s just everyone’s worst nightmare. Every aspect of this film is boring, yes there’s a couple of laughs but this is not something I recommend to anyone. Go and see the conjuring 2 because this is not worth your time.

Written By Dawson Roberts

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Release date- 10th June 2016

Directed by- Ben Falcone

Produced by- Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy

Written by- Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Steve Mallory

The conjuring

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The conjuring is a genuinely scary, well made horror film, something that is so rare to see in modern horror and if it wasn’t so cliche then it could have been one of the best horrors of recent years.

The conjuring is directed by James wan, famous for directing what seems like every single horror film of the past 15 years. From saw to insidious James Wan has directed so many infamous horror films and has proven himself to know the genre inside and out. This film stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren “paranormal” investigators who’ve solved thousands of haunting s and ghost sightings. They have been tasked with cleansing a family’s house with what the family believe to be a ghost. The film for its first half is just setting up what’s actually going on in the haunting and who Ed and Lorraine Warren are. The second half is all about the Warrens trying to remove this paranormal entity. The plot never gets dull, however it’s so cliche that at times it makes the plot very predictable. For example there’s a dog at the very start of the film and it’s acting strange around the house (if you’ve seen any horror films you should know that dog is as good as dead already) and surely enough within the next ten minutes that dog is dead. The film is full of horror clichés like that and it’s disappointing considering how well done every other aspect of this film is. This could be partly due to the fact this film is based off a “true” Ed and Lorraine story. But if that’s the case surely, as the beginning said, they have solved thousands of cases, a more interesting and obscure one would be better. To be fair they tried this with Annabelle and while this made over 250 million dollars profit it was awful and ruined everything that was good about the conjuring, relying too heavily on jump scares and even more clichés. I think if there’s so many interesting cases then maybe a TV show would be a better outlet for this.  Every week could be a different case,but keeping the same cast and James Wan directing, this way we see all the same things that were great but for an hour each week (which this could have easily been condensed into). While the story is very cliché it’s still well crafted, the structure and way the scares come work very well and you are definitely never bored.

The first appearance of the Annabelle doll

Moving on the cast in this film is amazing, every actor and actress really stands out as someone different and even the child actors are good at what they’re doing. As I’ve said before if it wasn’t for the cliches then this would stand out even more, but it says a lot that even with these clichés the cast are still brilliant. The family manage to portray the fear of being possessed very well with only the husband sometimes dropping in standard. Vera Farmiga stands out to me as the best actor, with Patrick Wilson a close second. Vera plays her character with a sense of insecurity that works really well for her skeptical role in this film. She really convinces you of the supernatural presence and when she’s on screen you genuinely feel safe like she and Patrick Wilson will protect you from what’s hiding around the corner. That to me is a sign the film is doing a good job, when the characters in the film are getting comfort from Ed and Lorraine Warren being there, because they will hopefully save them if it goes horribly wrong, and when I am equally getting that same comfort then it’s testament to the great script and cast. Patrick Wilson does a very similar thing to Vera and it works tremendously well, however the aspect that to me worked the best was that the cast are all very likable and you can easily attach to any of them. Both Vera and Patrick have amazing chemistry between them and it really feels like they are a real couple which only adds to the atmosphere.

Now for quite a bit of this review I’ve mentioned the word cliché, however the use of actual scare clichés is very minimal. James Wan knows exactly how to scare someone and that’s via tension building. I’m heavily against jump scares (the silence and then loud noise with no actual fear), their a cheap cop out excuse for a scare and I’m very happy that this film uses none of them. If a “jump scare” is used its done properly. The scares in this are all very well crafted scares, James Wan makes sure tension building is the only real scare and that  the tension normally leads to something truly horrible.Its the perfect example of how horror films should scare people. It takes a hell of lot to scare me and very few films manage it (oculus, it follows and now this are the only films i can think that have scared me) so i’m very impressed that James Wan could genuinely instill fear in me and make me very uneasy when watching this film. This film does its job of being a horror film and through its masterfully crafted scares and tension building it can become something that is surprisingly scary.

 

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Id turn around mate

The directing in this film is exactly what you expect from James Wan, I’ve raved about him a lot during this review and that’s because hes brilliant. He knows what hes doing and manages to create something that blows every other Ed and Lorraine warren film out of the water.The cinematography in this film is beautiful and there are some amazing shots which have stuck with me (Something that very rarely happens), at times there is the odd poorly executed shot but for the most its really good.  The film has an amazing soundtrack and it really helps build the tension, I particularly like the more orchestral like songs which are really creepy. The film is very big on practical effects, something that James wan is a big advocate of, its definitely something that helps make the film more believable and scary. The use of no ghosts for the most part of the film (no physical appearance of a ghost just word of mouth) is also something that works tremendously well, for example there is a scene in which one of the girls is pointing towards a door and saying theirs something in the shadows. There’s nothing actually there, but as you are yet to see whats haunting them your imagination does perfect job of imagining something horrible.Its  a great tactic that makes the audience create there own fears and become more scared than ever anticipated by James Wan.

To conclude, the conjuring is one of the bet modern horror films of recent times. While its very cliche story could be heavily improved upon it really pushes the boundary’s in every other aspect of the film.The acting,cinematography and soundtrack are all great an genuine scares and practical effects come together to create something that is genuinely scary. Its a rare occurrence a film this good gets made and i’m very excited by the prospect of a sequel.

Written By Dawson Roberts

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Release Date- July 19th 2013

Directed By- James Wan 

Produced By- Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran, Rob Cowan

Written By- Chad HayesCarey Hayes

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