A few years ago horror hit a new mainstream high and became surprisingly creative with James Wan’s The Conjuring in 2013. Wan changed everything, say goodbye to the days of Saw, Final Destination and Paranormal Activity and say hello to The Conjuring, Annabelle, and now The Nun – a shared horror universe with endless potential. Borrowing a page from Marvel, the latest horror gimmick isn’t a camera shake, or blood splatter, it’s a shared spooky-verse!
The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 have been extremely well received and have spawned several spin offs all of which have made more money than the last (including this year’s The Nun which made $131M in a single weekend.)
The crazy thing is while the Wan directed horror flicks are terrifyingly fun to watch, their spin offs (not directed by Wan) have been more of a snooze than a scare. However they’ve been making more money than their flagship films, why? Because the audience are already scared of the ghost going in. The Annabelle doll chilled us to the bone, and the Nun was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Out of all the studios pouring millions into trying to replicate Marvel’s financial success, James Wan and Blumhouse Productions did it with a shoe string budget and a creative narrative vision.