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

 

 

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What Lies Beneath (2000)

beneahDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Clark Gregg (Screenplay) Clark Gregg, Sarah Kernochan (Story)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Remar, Katharine Towne, Miranda Otto, Diana Scarwid

 

Plot: The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost – or that she is losing her mind.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chilling Thriller

 

Story: What Lies Beneath starts as Claire (Pfeiffer) and Norman (Ford) Spencer seem to have the perfect marriage as they witness their only daughter Caitlin (Towne) head off to college. They have recently had new neighbours Mary (Otto) and Warren (Remar) who Claire believes Warren has harmed Mary.

Alone in the house Claire starts to try and investigate what happened only to find herself haunted by strange goings on including her front door randomly opening. Claire starting to question her own sanity believes she is being haunted by a ghost and she thinks it is the neighbour she thinks got killed but the truth will leave her shocked.

What lies Beneath is the type of horror I love to watch where it is a ghost trying to communicate with a living person to get to the bottom of their death. The stand out thing is that we don’t have a slow build up we get straight into the paranoia level for Claire to end up in through the film. We are left guessing which is great as we do get a false lead to where the story is going. The fact this keeps us on edge makes this a top horror mystery to be enjoyed with all the chilling side.

 

Actor Review

 

Michelle Pfeiffer: Claire is the wife of Norman and mother of Caitlin who has moved to college, she finds herself alone in the house at times where she finds herself being haunted by a ghost who is trying to communicate with her and the truth will leave her wondering everything about her life. Michelle is great in this role filled with fear throughout.cliare

Harrison Ford: Norman is the university professor working in the field of genetics who has been leaving his wife in their home alone. He doesn’t believe she is being haunted and in fact thinks she is just reacting to being alone. Harrison is great as we are left wondering about his true nature throughout.norman

Diana Scarwid: Jody is the best friend of Claire who helps her try to get to the bottom of the hauntings in the house, she helps with the ghost hunting and is the supportive friend needed. Diana is good in the supporting role.

James Remar: Warren is the neighbour that Claire first suspects has killed his wife, he comes off abusive making him an easy false subject. James is good in this role which is only a supporting one.

Support Cast: What lies Beneath has a supporting cast that only help with trying to solve whether Claire is sane or not.

Director Review: Robert ZemeckisRobert gives us a horror mystery that keeps us guessing throughout with plenty of twists and getting straight into the action.

 

Horror: What lies Beneath has wonderfully built up horror with scares that use the jump scares correctly.

Mystery: What lies Beneath does keep us guessing to what will happen next through the film as we see everything unfold.

Thriller: What lies Beneath has you on edge once you learn the truth about what is happening.

Settings: What lies Beneath uses the lake house setting for the film which shows how isolated Claire really is feeling during her experience.
Special Effects
: What lies Beneath has good effects when needed but really uses the build-up for effects.

Suggestion: What lies Beneath is one for all the horror fans to watch (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Surprise in Harrison Ford Character.

Worst Part: Certain final effects look weak.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: He was the perfect husband until his one mistake followed them home.

 

Overall: Mystery horror that just keeps us guessing from start to finish

Ratingcard

I, Frankenstein (2014)

logoDirector: Stuart Beattie

Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay) Kevin Grevioux (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Catlin Stasey

 

Plot: Doctor Victor Frankenstein dies frozen to death and the creature buries him at the cemetery of his family. However he is attacked by demons but he kills on of them and Gargoyles save him and take him to a Cathedral where the Gargoyles Order gathers. The Queen of the Gargoyles Leonore (Otto) keeps Doctor Frankenstein’s journal together with the treasures of the Order and gives the name Adam (Eckhart) to the creature. Then she explains to Adam that there is an ancient war between the Gargoyles that are angels and demons under the command of the Prince Naberius (Nighy). She also invites Adam to join the Gargoyles in the war against demons, but Adam prefers to isolate in a remote place. Two hundred years later, Adam returns and finds a modern society. Soon he learns that Naberius has the intention of creating an army of soulless corpses to be possessed by demons. The scientist Terra (Strahovski) is researching a process to create life and Naberius is seeking Doctor Frankenstein’s journal to help Terra and raise his army.

 

Verdict: Action CGI style

 

Story: The old good versus bad battle that the human don’t see that escalates into a destructive battle when one believes they can get the overall control. Add in Frankenstein’s monster to the see which side of the battle will he fall on. Let’s face it this is not the most original idea and in the end feels like just another member of the almost something special, but unfortunately is just plain. It is watchable, but nothing special. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Aaron Eckhart: Adam the creature wanting to live on his own but the constant attack from demons means he wants to end the war between the two. Adam is a skilled fighter who battles to stay on the good side of the battle, which he struggles to see when the Gargoyles have to hide things from him. Good performance from Aaron showing he can lead a film. (8/10)

 adam

Yvonne Strahovski: Terra a human scientist who is working on re-animating dead things for a rich man. She is in it all for the science but once she learns the truth she is reluctant to help. Bit of a disappointment in the support female role, she really doesn’t pull of scientist role very well. (3/10)

terra

Miranda Otto: Leonore the Queen of the gargoyles who keeps Adam alive hoping he would return to save them in the war, but soon turns on him when he opens the war out for the humans to see. Simple supporting performance, not offering anything to a role. (5/10)

 miranda

Bill Nighy: Naberius the prince demon who wants to use Frankenstein’s diary and monster to create a new army. Good villain performance from Nighy who gives the basic evil without exceling the position. (7/10)

 bill

Jai Courtney: Gideon the most loyal warrior of the gargoyles, who never trusts Adam but has to trust what his Queen thinks. Basic support role that offers conflict within the good guys.(6/10)

 jai

Socratis Otto: Zuriel one of Naberius’ generals who has been hunting down Adam for over 200 hundred years, he is a skill fighter and will sacrifice his soldiers to stop Adam. Good supporting performance, but never gets the full time to show the whole character. (6/10)

 zuriel

Director Review: Stuart Beattie – Basic directing really, never offering anything new to the genre but following some of the basics well enough. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of fights used throughout, but a lot of them in CGI. (9/10)

Fantasy: The fantasy war going on behind the humans back is good and shows how intense it has become. (9/10)

Settings: Good use of settings trying to use gothic ones to try and keep the story in the dark underworld. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Standard effects as some of the CGI come off very simple during the transformation but once they are established they are fine. (7/10)

Suggestion: I think this is only one to try, it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre but has some good fight scenes. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The battles are good.

Worst Part: Weak supporting performances.

Action Scene Of The Film: The demon attack on the cathedral.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have one, but Box Office results may stop it.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $71,154,592

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: In the battle between good and evil, an immortal holds the key.

 

Overall: Dark Action Film Without Enough Bite

Rating 60

Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

Director: John Moore

Writer: Scott Frank

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi, Tyrese Gibson, Tony Curran, Sticky Fingaz, Jacob Vargas, Hugh Laurie

 

Story When an oilrig in the middle of the Mongolian dessert closes Pilot Frank Towns (Quaid) and co-pilot A.J (Gibson) most fly the team home. The team is lead by Kelly (Otto) and is being closed by cooperative man Ian (Laurie). Along with the team mysterious Elliot (Ribisi) join them on their flight.

 

As the flight is going on they come across a storm refusing to turn back Frank tries to go over and around it only for the place to go down in the middle of the dessert. With limited supplies and no radio they have to hope for rescue. Elliott comes up with the idea to build a plane from the remains of the old one.

 

Can they make the plane before the supplies run out? Can they avoid the ruthless dessert smugglers?

 

Verdict This action adventure has one the best action sequences with the plane crash. It is gripping from start the finish like most of the best survival movies. Yes it is a remake but it can easily stand alone and not be bracketed as a poor remake. All the characters have their own strong points and flaws which all get shown as the story develops. Any fan of a gripping movie will enjoy this movie.

Story Mark 9/10 Strong story about grouping together to survive.

Action Mark 9/10 The action sequences are all very gripping

Star Performances Giovanni Ribisi as Elliott mysterious portrayed perfectly.

Favourite Character Elliott has all the best lines and scenes.

Best Part After a smuggler is nearly the group argues about whether to help him only for Elliott to grab and gun and shot him.

Worst Part-Letting people compare it to the original

Best Quote Elliott (to Frank) ‘The design is perfect, the only flaw is that we have to rely on you to fly it.’

 

My Rating 88%