Written By Ross Hughes

So its happened again!

The moral at the HCF Office has been badly damaged by a film that has tore apart the solid relationship between the ones who make HorrorCultFilms the website you love and read every day!

For the newcomers, I cast you mind back to the year 2011, when yours truly caused the first ripple that threatened the peace and horror love of the precious gang here at HCF.  It was a summer day and I set off to watch the Premiere of the long awaited Scre4m.  The cinema was packed to the rim with eager fans of the franchise and it felt like the summer of 1996 all over again.  111 minutes of pure cinema joy, with watchers whooping and cheering as Ghostface went back to work, I left that cinema with a huge smile on my face, knowing that I was going to enjoy writing the up my thoughts on the Wes Craven film.  How was I to know at the time that my review would become the first “infamous” piece of work that caused murders behind closed door.

When I published the said article, my fellow workers were delighted at my thoughts and rushed off to see it themselves.  On return, well lets just say things did go as planned.  David threw his art pencils at me, Juan his Control Pad, Matt finished me off by hitting me with his News book, while the Dr finally lived up to his name and performed emergency CPR on me.  Just as I finally recovered from the shock, Bat then called me over and give me my final written warning for giving such an ok film, a four star treatment.   I fought my case and weeks went by when the atmosphere in the office was strained but we all managed to recover and soon things got better and we all vowed…… “never again!”

And things were great, up until this week!…… when history repeated itself.

Matt’s review of The Conjuring has divided opinion on us all!  His outstanding review and high scoring has caused Scre4m ripples with Matt himself furiously defending the film with high detailed and well thought of argument which had us all listening and nodding our head with approval at the passion on display.

I had two emails this week, one from a guy called Bauer24 who said ” The Conjuring scared the shit out of me, Matt’s review was spot on.  Best horror film of the year!”

While the other was from HorrorNut who simply put “What a load of rubbish!  Seen it all before shit that would only scare those who have never seen a haunted house film”.

It seems though that HorrorNut and a few of us at HCF are in the minority, as The Conjuring continues to clean up all box office’s around the world and gaining critical acclaim from those who have seen it!.  For a film that has gained so much love , why the negative thoughts then from those within HCF and some fans out there?

I am in the camp that The Conjuring was a good little horror film but not “the scariest haunted house horror ever made” a quote which I find laughable beyond belief.   Have they seen the 1963 The Haunting, a film that to this day, as never been matched in quality or style?   Back to The Conjuring  and I am looking and wondering why a film like Insidious before it,  has done so well.

For a start, if I was reviewing The Conjuring then it would be three stars, a decent return really that shows that while I enjoyed what it was, it did not blow me away like I wanted it too.  So I am not writing this review to lambast it or to make a mockery of Matt’s review and thoughts.  Having heard him defend the film, I fully understand why he loved it  so much and being a horror fan, I am delighted that this genre is the most talked about film of the summer, a rare oddity to say the least as we so used to a big heavy effects blockbuster leading the way.

The success of The Conjuring may be do to the fact of the state of the genre.  At the moment and its been like it for a few years, horror has been awash with gore porn and a mission to shock those going to watch.  We probably reached the pinnacle of no return when A Serbian Film came out and viewers were aghast at the new born porn scenes that even had me shaking my head in disbelief.   With Jigsaw leading the way with his countless SAW returns, horror was in a dark bland place, not helped afterwards when the genre switched to Found Footage.   It had been a good 8 years since Blair Witch led the way, but it took Paranormal Activity to get it back into the limelight and since 2007, a week doesn’t go by until we see a new release of some idiots going somewhere with a camera where if they had any sense and brain, they stay home and just film themselves having sex.  It be more enjoyable and while messy, at least they wont end up dead…..

One of the reasons why The Conjuring has done so well is the fact that it’s old school and for a new generation of horror fans, those whose first film was probably Hostel, its like a breath of fresh air.  With no gore to shock,  what they have in front of them is a simple scare machine where a game of hide and seek brings more fear and terror than watching a penis being ripped off a poor guy strapped to the chair.


The likes of The Conjuring and Insidious have reminded fans of what horror is capable of which can only be good for the genre itself.   Old school fans like me and I have been watching horror films for the last 31 years may not share the total love for these two films simply because I was brought up on the simple scare genre and I very much doubt that these two modern films would get the same critical acclaim if they were released back in the days of  the likes of Burnt OfferingsThe Changeling and of course The Amityville Horror.

This is me not knocking the likes of Conjuring, but I guarantee if you watch the film and then watch Amityville straight after, you will spot just how similar in theme and style the two are.  Its like Insidious, the film started off well but then ended up being more of a  semi remake of a 1982 classic horror that had the famous words “They here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”…..  No need to say what film I am on about!.

In my humble opinion, these two films may be overhyped but I am just glad that its bringing horror back to the mainstream.  I totally disagree in the those who believe that The Conjuring is the best horror film for many years, simply because we have the recent work of Ti West, whose films “House Of The Devil” and “The Innkeepers” are modern classic’s and deserve to be reached out to a wider audience.

But then who am I to argue with those who believe that Insidious and Conjuring are modern classic’s themselves.  Horror goes in circles, I was brought up and terrified with the likes of The Changeling and now this modern generation will say they were frightened by things that go clap in the night.  When they grow up and have kids themselves, a new film will come out and probably share the same DNA of the likes of the Conjuring and then they will say about that new film “yeah its good, but its not like the old days”…..

Horror, its a funny old genre………….






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About Ross Hughes 547 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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