The new Ryan Gosling movie Only God Forgives has to be a comedy, writes Kurt Loder, because the only alternative to laughing at it is napping through it. And given all the overwrought gut-ripping, limb-lopping, and eyeball abuse that punctuate the picture's general air of slugged pretension, that would be hard. So, laughter it is.
In The Conjuring, on the other hand, James Wan, who helped launch the Saw franchise and also directed the 2010 chiller Insidious, takes a new pass at the well-worn old-haunted-house genre and comes up with exactly what you'd expect. But his classicist's respect for the genre, and his patient building of tension through atmospheric long shots, freshen the familiar elements somewhat, and the movie does – for those still susceptible – deliver.