By now we’ve become accustomed to horror movie trailer tropes—the tenuous declaration that the narrative is “based on a true story,” the ominous music, the jump scare (and the moment of silence as someone creeps around a dark space that precedes it). The new trailer for The Conjuring, from Saw director James Wan, employs all of these tactics but with a crucial difference: They are toned down significantly.
Setting up the familiar haunted house element, actress Lili Taylor plays hide and seek with a few kids (her role is currently unknown according to the IMDb), only to find that others (spirits, perhaps) have unexpectedly joined in on their game. The overall effect is much more like the “red light, green light” scenes in The Orphanage, or the subtle spooks of Paranormal Activity, than the gruesome torture porn of the Saw franchise.
It’s hard to be truly scared by trailers anymore (or the movies themselves, for that matter), but The Conjuring comes quite close to succeeding. At the very least, by holding back, it sparks rare curiosity—the lack of context, overbearing music, and a big reveal adds a layer of suspense, leaving you guessing as to what the film might ultimately entail. With a cast that also features Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, this could very well be as satisfying as it looks.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.