I’ve never been particularly fond of the bulk of the movies that make up James Wan’s Conjuring universe (The Conjuring (2013), The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Nun (2018), Annabelle (2014) and Dead Silence (2007, that latter as far as I’m aware isn’t actually connected though is directed by Wan) because he seems to care more about the accoutrements of horror more than horror movies in and of themselves.
Which isn’t to imply that they’re bad, because they’re oftentimes quite watchable – except for The Nun (which along with Annabelle weren’t directed by Wan).
It’s worth mentioning that while Annabelle was a irritating, frustrating watch it was at least watchable.
I can’t say the same thing for The Nun because I think I might have lasted 15 or 20 minutes before I realized that life is just too short for bad horror.
And while James Wan may have a knack for the atmospherics and tropes of horror, he also has a tendency towards stylization that I don’t think does him any favors.
Though another thing that’s perhaps more irritating is a tendency that’s not at all unique to Wan, which is the whole “Based On True Events” nonsense that accompanies most of his Conjuring films, which is almost a trope in and of itself.
Because let’s be clear, beyond the existence of people named Ed and Lorraine Warren, these movies are utter nonsense and to even claim that they’re based on true events strains credulity and at this point anytime I see the phrase in reference to horror movies in particular I pretty much accept I’m being lied to.
In fact, anytime you see “Based On True Events” for ANY movie the likelihood is high entertainment is going to hold more weight than any actual true events.
And in case you think this is a minor issue to be concerned about, that I should perhaps just let it go, look into the story of Midnight Express (1978) sometime, which is absolutely a brilliant and very problematic movie exactly for this reason.