Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Director: David F Sandberg

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Talitha Bateman, Alicia Vela-Bailey

 

Plot: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Impressive Scare Filled Horror

 

Story: Annabelle: Creation starts as we meet a dollmaker Samuel Mullins (LaPaglia), his wife Esther (Otto) and their daughter Bee have a perfect religion filled life, but after it gets shattered with a tragic accident the family become silent. 12-years later Samuel opens the doors to Sister Charlotte (Sigman) and 6 orphan girls including Linda (Wilson), Janice (Bateman) and Nancy.

As night falls Linda hears noises coming from the daughter’s room, the room that is meant to be locked. Before long the other girls start experience strange occurrences until the truth about the Annabelle doll is unleashed searching for souls, can the girls survive this terror.

 

Thoughts on Annabelle: Creation

 

Characters – Esther is bed bound for the most part of this film, we only see her involvement when it comes to filling in the blanks about what is controlling the Annabelle doll. Samuel is clearly dealing with the depression but you wouldn’t expect anything else, he keeps to himself but as soon as he learns the terror has been released again. Linda is the disabled of the 6 girls who doesn’t get to enjoy the freedom they do making her a lonely potential victim for the demon. Sister Charlotte tries to be the mother figure for the girls and has a connection to the bigger Conjuring Universe. The only other characters we meet are the girls we have Janice who is the best friend of Linda that experience the most when it comes to the haunting with the other 4 barely getting named but some do experience hauntings which are at times confusing in my opinion.

PerformanceWhen you look at the performances you can see the bigger names like Otto and LaPaglia are used as a draw in the supporting role and do a good job throughout, Stephanie Sigman also does well through the film. It is the child actors that do shine in this film.

StoryThe Annabelle doll has been a part of two films now, it was a side haunting in the Conjuring and we learn more on the origin in the first Annabelle movie, now the Conjuring side is based on a true story, the others seem to not be. We did need a true origin story and we do get told what we already know about what is controlling the doll, now I do think we have plenty of scares going on with well created moments throughout, but the characters decisions will annoy horror fans at time. The story does end up being generic but it isn’t about the story here more about the scares.

Horror/MysteryThere are scares going on from the moment the girls arrive at the house, we get excellent use of camerawork to make us look in every single corner of the shot seeing if we are going to see something, the mystery isn’t the most difficult but if this is your first Annabelle experience you will enjoy them.

SettingsThe house in the middle of what feels like nowhere is great for the slow building atmosphere growing through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are good for the most part, most are in darkness which saves on any weaknesses but there are a couple of moments that make you raise an eyebrow.

Scene of the Movie – The first Annabelle doll meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel this could have been avoided if they church people had said something before letting the girls just be nosey.

Final ThoughtsThis is another brilliant prequel to what was a disappointing film following in the footsteps of Ouija. The camerawork is brilliant and this is one of the horrors you will want to see every shot off.

 

Overall: A must watch horror prequel.

Rating

 

 

A Good Marriage (2014)

logoDirector: Peter Askin

Writer: Stephen King (Short Story)

Starring: Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephen Lang, Cara Buono, Kristen Connolly, Mike O’Malley, Theo Stockman, Will Rogers

 

Plot: After 25 years of a good marriage, what will Darcy do once she discovers her husband’s sinister secret?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointingly Dull

 

Story: A Good Marriage starts with the anniversary party of Darcy (Allen) and Bob Anderson (LaPaglia) with their grown up children Petra (Connolly) and Donnie (Stockman). Everything on the outside looks like it is going great for the couple and what could possibly be shocking about them? The couple seem to have a follower in Holt Ramsey (Lang) but why?

Darcy’s life takes a sudden change when searching for batteries she finds a hidden box with the drivers licences of woman who are found dead. As Darcy struggles to deal with the realisation that she is married to a serial killer we watch how Bob is tracking down him latest victim while away on business. We have to watch how Bob and Darcy try to work through the problems because spilling the secret could ruin the family.

A Good Marriage really does end up coming off very dull, the concept sounds very interesting. I feel this story should have been a hell of a lot tenser because of the action of the husband especially with the idea that the wife doesn’t want to destroy her children’s lives with the secret. I can honestly say I was expecting a look into the husband’s killing and an actual confrontation rather than just a calm talking about his actions. Overall the story doesn’t come off very well at all and I can honestly say this will disappoint any and all the Stephen King Fans out there. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Joan Allen: Darcy Anderson is the loving mother and wife who discovers her husband’s secret. Darcy has to try and figure out what to do because talking will destroy the family but she also knows the next victim will now be here fault. Joan does a solid job but doesn’t reach the levels you would expect to make you feel like her character is scared or keeping a brave face. (5/10)

 

Anthony LaPaglia: Bob Anderson is the account husband of Darcy who has been living a different life behind his family’s back as a serial killer. When his wife discovers his secret he has to convince her not to go to the cops and ruin the life the children think they have had. Anthony is an actor I would expect to be able to play this role really well but he doesn’t seem to get into the role enough to make us believe he is a killer. (3/10)

 

Support Cast: A Good Marriage has a supporting cast that are mostly people Darcy is trying to protect from the truth, but it also has a man trying to find out the truth about the killer.

 

Director Review: Peter Askin – Peter doesn’t give us enough tension in a film that should be filled to the rim with tension because of the subject matter. (3/10)

 

Thriller: A Good Marriage is a film that should be filled with tension but this manages to let it all go without capitalising on the idea. (2/10)

Settings: A Good Marriage keeps the settings great because the idea would be that the killer is in plain sight living a normal life. (9/10)

Suggestion: A Good Marriage has to go down as one to avoid because it really does disappoint trying to tell an easy story. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Hard to find anything.

Worst Part: No Tension.

Improve Ideas: High tension level.

 

Believability: The idea does come from a real serial killer but the outcome on film doesn’t really work. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Trivia: This is Stephen King’s first self-adapted screenplay since “Pet Sematary,” which was released 25 years earlier. The last feature film script he wrote was “Sleepwalkers,” released in 1992. Since then he has written TV movies, mini-series and shows, such as “The Stand,” “The Shining” and “Kingdom Hospital.”

 

Overall: Very disappointing thriller with no actual tension.

Rating 20

The Client (1994)

This is a John Grisham adaptation which follows a young boy Mark Sway (Brad Renfro) who witness a suicide of a Mafia lawyer. He is being hunted by the FBI who want him to testify against the Mafia while the Mafia are after him to stop him talking about a murder they have committed. He hires small time lawyer Reggie Love (Oscar Nominated Susan Sarandon) to help protect him and his family.

In what is quite a tense thriller that can be considered similar to a lot of other Grisham material  that are all very watchable. Put in the all star cast of Tommy Lee Jones, William H Macy, Anthony LaPaglia, Mary-Louise Parker, J.T.Walsh, Will Patton, Kim Coates, Ossie Davis. You get a some very solid acting performances.

Overall i would give this a 76%