IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jaeden Leiberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Scares

 

Story: It starts in the small town of Derry where children go missing on a frightening high amount of times, with Georgie being the latest victim in the town. When the next summer comes around Georgie’s brother Bill (Lieberher) is still hoping to find answer to what happened to his brother. With the summer vacation starting Bill is joined by the rest of the Loser’s Club Richie (Wolfhard), Eddie (Grazer) and Stanley (Oleff) to investigate.

As the investigate deepens the friends all start getting haunted by Pennywise (Skarsgard) and are joined by the new kid Ben (Taylor), the home schooled Mike (Jacobs) and outsider Beverly (Lillis) as the battle against Pennywise last the summer and the friends learn the value of friendship when trying to overcome their fears.

 

Thoughts on IT

 

Characters – Bill is the leader of the Loser’s Club who has lost his brother to the strange occurrences in the town. He has been trying to figure out the what happened to Georgie for a year and has the support from his friends. Ben is the new kid in town who has been left on the outside with no friends going into the summer but is welcomed into the Loser’s club with their mutual hatred to the school bully. Beverly has been branded a slut at school as rumours spiralled out of control, she has a terrifying home life when the Loser’s club offer her friendship she needed. Mike is home school living on a slaughter needing to learn the trade. I will say Mike is the character we learn the least about of the 7. Richie is the fast talking of the group who can’t help but spit the first words that come to mind out, often used for the comedy in the film. Eddie is member of the group who is paranoid about becoming ill and getting dirty, he is also used a lot for the comedy side of the film. Stanley is the Jewish member of the club that is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah which is going to be the most important part of his summer.

Pennywise is the clown haunting the children of Derry searching for fear in the children so he can feed on it, he knows the children’s biggest fears and becomes them in the most frightening way possible.

PerformanceAll seven of the children give us great performances and you fully believe the chemistry created between them as it could easily be on a par with the Goonies or Stand by Me. Bill Skarsgard has one of the hardest jobs in Hollywood this year and he does deliver as Pennywise bring fear from his character while not destroying the legacy of what Tim Curry brought to this role.

StoryThe story of a small town that seems to have a large number of children going missing and nobody is doing anything about it does seem strange. The kids joining together to solve this mystery is the core of the story though, this brings back the idea of the children needing to entertain themselves during the summer but this time it is a deadly adventure against an enemy that is waiting to kill them. The story bottles down to friendship being the answer to overcoming fears, learning to grow up and understanding the history of their town.

HorrorThis is easily one of the best horror movies of the year, it does feel like we have a scare nearly every 5 minutes and each one plays into a different fear for our characters. If you don’t enjoy a certain moment of fear the next will get you.

SettingsThe small town is a fantastic setting as it helps play into a legend of what happened in the town before to make the strange moments happen now.

Special EffectsThe effects add to the horror immensely here, each horrifying creation comes off legit because of the effects used.

Scene of the Movie – Slide show viewing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why are the cops not doing more to investigate the missing children?

Tagline – You’ll Float Too.

Final ThoughtsWhen we look at horror remakes this could easily be up there as one of the best of all time, it brings new life to an already excellent horror that isn’t afraid to scare as often as possible.

 

Overall: Massively enjoyable horror that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

Annabelle (2014)

logoDirector: John R. Leonetti

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay)

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley, Brain Howe, Eric Ladin, Ivar Brogger

 

Plot: A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Demon Film

Story: Annabelle starts by telling us the part of the story that happened in ‘The Conjuring’ just to remind us about what we will be watching. We go back a year earlier Mia (Wallis) and John (Horton) are planning for their first child. We see early stages of tension between the couple and they both try to keep everything together. John happens to buy an Annabelle doll for their child, which I might add they don’t know whether it will be a boy or a girl, but they have way to many dolls if it turns out to be a boy.

The first night of having this creepy ass doll Mia hears screams coming from the house next door and the neighbours needing an ambulance. The incident leads to Mia getting stabbed and the two intruders who are part of a cult both die one from being shot the other suicide.  Luckily for the couple the baby is unharmed but Mia is ordered to stick to bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy.doll

The ordeal for the couple has only just starting when strange things start happening around the house, including the sewing machine turning itself on. Disposing of the doll because the suicide girl died holding it. Mia has the baby even though the house catches fire, but just in time for the couple of move for John’s new job. The couple have a baby girl Leah, good job they had all the dolls ready for a baby girl, but one doll made the trip that they didn’t want to, the Annabelle doll. It soon becomes apparent that whatever was haunting them at the old house is back but John doesn’t know what to make of Mia’s claims. Mia alone in the apartment overnight continues to get haunted by strange goings on, Mia must fight off whatever is after her and her baby before it is too late. Mia learns that she could be up against a demon that the cult that tried to kill her had summoned. Mia has to find a way to give the demon a soul to make it vanish once and for all.

Annabelle is the prequel to the good horror film ‘The Conjuring’ and it focuses on somewhat of a side note from that film with the creepy doll. The problem is that the doll is nothing but a creepy doll that just gets moved around by a demon. Nearly everything that happens is very generic for the genre right down to the characters decisions. We have the trademark priest falling to actually do anything to help. The idea does put the story into a real horror situation from the intruders to the possession which should really make this a much scarier film than we actually get. It just seems to take too long to really roll into the main side of the haunting especially as we already know about the doll. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

Annabelle Wallis: Mia loving wife and soon to be mother who gets attacked, but once she has the baby she continues to get haunted by a spirit demon who wants her baby. Annabelle does a solid job in the lead role but really struggles to make an impact when it comes to the legacy of a role like this. (6/10)

 mia

Ward Horton: John Gordon father and husband who spends most of the film at work leaving Mia to do all the work against the demons. Ward does what he can with what little he has to work with here. (4/10)

 

Support Cast: Annabelle has a supporting cast of people who try to help mainly the useless priest and a lady full of regret because of what happened to her own child. They offer the usual help without really doing much to the story.

Director Review: John R. Leonetti – John gives us a standard modern horror with easy jump scares instead of any tension building. (5/10)

 

Horror: Annabelle enters into the world of cheap jump scares that can be called well before they happen. (5/10)

Settings: Annabelle has most of the hauntings going on inside a house which brings the horror back home for the characters. (9/10)

Suggestion: Annabelle is one for the horror fans to try but don’t expect too much from it. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Ghost attack changing age through a door.

Worst Part: Cheap jump scares.

Scariest Scene: Ghost changing age after running through a door.

 

Believability: it is said to be based on real events but it is up to you what you want to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It will have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $255 Million

Budget: $6.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

Overall: This really is a lacklustre prequel to one of the better recent horror films, it becomes lazy with its scares and turns into something we have seen before.

Rating 50