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Friday, August 11, 2017

ANNABELLE CREATION REVIEW



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.

Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, and Anthony LaPaglia

Directed by: David F. Sandberg 

Written by: Gary Dauberman

  Marvel has created one of the best universes going right now with their superhero movies. Not long ago, Universal announced the return of their monster icons in what they’re calling the Dark Universe. And then there’s The Conjuring Universe that is somewhat quietly coming out from the shadows. A third Conjuring movie is on its way, along with “The Nun,” but first Annabelle gets a second chance to win over horror fans.
  With a title like “Annabelle Creation” the audience might expect to see a lot about her creation. However, after seeing dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) put the final touches on Annabelle, there isn’t much Annabelle backstory until the end. Instead the audience sees the tragedy that happens to the Mullins family, and then years later how they provide a home to some foster girls. It gets the movie off to kind of a slow start, as the girls have to be introduced, and get settled in. It isn’t until Janice (Talitha Bateman), a young physically challenged girl, finds Annabelle that things pick up.
  Being apart of The Conjuring Universe, the scares start happening the way the audience might expect. First Annabelle might appear here and there, and then something in the darkness sets its sights on freaking out the girls. Besides Janice, her best friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) has some run-ins with Annabelle. In one of the better scares, she’s shooting a ball into a dark hallway, and pulling it back with a string. Well, it’s not hard to imagine how creepy that scene can be. 
  The intensity of the scares really kick in when the demon reveals itself, and its intentions with the girls. Also, the story of how the demon attached itself to Annabelle is finally divulged. It might be obvious to some after events earlier in the movie. However, that’s not the interesting part. When the dust settles, the true connection between “Annabelle” and “Annabelle Creation” is revealed, and it puts a nice punctuation on the movie. 
  Before wrapping this up, I have to make a point about Annabelle. After seeing Annabelle in “The Conjuring,” I was instantly drawn in, and wanted to know more about her. However, after two movies my interest in her has greatly diminished. Why…well because after it’s said and done she’s just a creepy looking doll. She doesn’t really do anything other than show up here and there. The demon is the true evil force here, and the one creating the real scares. She’s pretty much the opposite of Chucky, and in the end that’s disappointing.
  Going back to the movie itself, it’s easy to see how “Annabelle Creation” fits into The Conjuring Universe. It has the same feel to it, and the scares are effective, but done in an expected manner. The demon eventually makes itself known and does its best to scare the girls, and the more importantly the audience. There’s usually some strong acting performances, and this time it’s courtesy of the Talitha and Lulu. While “Annabelle” might not have knocked the socks off fans, it seems “Annabelle Creation” might win over more fans this time around. With that said, I give it 3 pools of blood. 

HorrO


*There are after credits scenes so stay to the very end*

Saturday, August 5, 2017

DARK TOWER REVIEW



The Last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil collide in the ultimate battle only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor

Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel

Written by: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, and Nikolaj Arcel

  Not that he went anywhere, but it looks like Stephen King is making a come back. The T.V. show ‘The Mist’ has been running for over a month now, and of course the highly anticipated remake of “IT” is not far away. Sandwiched in between is “The Dark Tower,” based on one of King’s longer novels. While this movie doesn’t cover the whole novel, it introduces audiences to this strange universe King created.
  And an introduction it is. While they fill the audience in on some things, it almost feels like something is missing from both the story, and the characters involved. The story follows a young boy, Jack Chambers (Tom Taylor), and the visions he has been having. He’s sure his visions are real regardless of the disbelief from the people around him. He draws things in his visions like the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba). 
  One of the visions gives the audience background on Roland, in his last battle along side his father. Both of them have been in a long battle with the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), but that’s the only past battle that’s shown. With Roland having so much hate for him, it would have been nice to see more of their history. As for the Man in Black, they could have given the audience more information on his rise to power, and why he’s so determined to make the Tower fall. 
  Even though it would have been good to know more about these characters, they’re still pretty good at what they do. The Man in Black can make almost anyone do what he wants. He walks past people acting all cool, gives a simple command, and they do it. It also makes him pretty intimidating. Being a Gunslinger, it’s obvious what Roland is good at. While watching him shoot is good, it might be even better watching some of the ways he reloads.
  Too bad it seems the audience doesn’t get enough of them. As mentioned, they don’t show much of them in the past, and limited interaction between them until the final scene. Going into the movie, it felt like there would be plenty of action, but there isn’t anything spectacular until the end. While the story follows Jack, maybe there would’ve been more action if it followed Roland. Then it could have covered the backstory better, and had more action in their world. Jack comes from the real world, and nothing much happens there early on. There's some decent humor when they return to the real world, but this isn't a comedy.
  For those who haven’t read the novel, like myself, maybe it leaves you a little lost. It just felt like there should be more to this story. Being a long novel, it’s easy to understand them leaving stuff out, but it truly felt like they should have covered more. If they spent more time in the other world then maybe they could have covered more things. It would have made more sense, and definitely could’ve provided more action especially between Roland and the Man in Black. However, for those who read the novel, maybe it made enough sense, and therefore they did right by the story. Either way, I give “The Dark Tower” 2 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES REVIEW



After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, and Steve Zahn

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Written by: Mark Bomback, and Matt Reeves 

  So many remakes fail to live up to the original, but so far this new Planet of the Apes series has held its own. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” were terrific movies for many of the same reasons. They're so terrific, each movie got 5 pools of blood from me, and that’s not something that happens often. So could “War for the Planet of the Apes” complete the trifecta, and get 5 pools of blood as well? 
  As reminded in the opening, the events in those movies have all led to this war. The beginning also reminds audiences how brutal war can be. There’s a quick, but intense battle between the humans and apes in which many lives are lost. Soon enough Caesar (Andy Serkis) makes his appearance, and is very much the same old Caesar. However, that quickly changes and his story becomes even more fascinating. Caesar begins changing into his old rival Koba (Toby Kebbell), and fights with this demon inside him the entire time. For the first time, both apes and the audience have doubts in what Caesar is doing.
  Koba might be Caesar’s personal demon, but he has some familiar faces by his side in Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Rocket (Terry Notary). The audience knows what to expect from them, but it’s some of the new faces that are a welcome addition to the story. First, there’s Nova (Amiah Miller), who’s a young girl that quickly bonds with the apes. She can’t speak, and that may trigger a connection to the original movie for some. And then there’s the comic relief, Bad Ape (Steve Zahn). He’s unlike any ape to date, and his humor is welcomed in such an emotional movie.
  Speaking of emotions, one of the beautiful things about all three of these movies is how they pull at the emotions of the audience. As mentioned, just watching Caesar struggle like he’s never struggled before is tough. It’s even tougher watching him when he knows he’s let his fellow apes down after doing so much for them. Then there are moments like Nova bringing water to Caesar, or placing a flower on a dying ape. Hell, an argument for sympathy towards The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) can be made even after all of the bad things he’s done.
  The emotional rollercoaster leads to an amazing final act. It’s do or die time for the apes and humans. As expected, Caesar steps up, and puts his life on the line for the apes. He’s also still motivated by revenge, but the world has a twist of fate for his plan. When the intense battle seems to be over, another avalanche of a surprise drops, and changes the landscape in the war for the planet of the apes. 
  For those who haven’t seen the original series, you might be missing out on what makes this trilogy truly special. They’ve just done a fabulous job of retelling this story from different angles, while leading to the same end point. It’s great being able to see Caesar become the iconic figure to apes, and this time really facing personal demons. It’s just another of the many continuous comparisons between humans and apes the series makes. While fighting for the planet, they fail to realize how alike they really are. This movie might be more emotional then the others, which is helped with the addition of Nova. Again for those who have seen the original series, the ending should be satisfying, and make you look forward to the what should happen next. So as you might have expected by now, yes the trifecta is complete because I’m giving “War for the Planet of the Apes” 5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WISH UPON REVIEW



A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.

Starring: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Ki Hong Lee

Directed by: John R. Leonetti

Written by: Barbara Marshall

  Clare (Joey King) is a teenager who is already struggling at life. Her mother passed away when she was little, and her life in high school isn’t going so well. On top of that, she’s continually embarrassed by her father, Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe). If only a girl had something she could “Wish Upon” to make her troubles go away!
  Well, she’s in luck because her father just gave her the best early birthday present ever. What appears to be just a cool looking box, is apparently a box that grants wishes. After her first couple of wishes, she slowly realizes that they’re actually coming true, and is benefitting from them. As the audience might expect, she wishes for many of her struggles to go away in one way or the other.
  While suddenly living the good life, she fails to make the connection between the people passing away around her, and the wishes. The box has some deadly warnings on it, that unfortunately she doesn’t get translated until it’s too late. As for these deaths, there’s actually a couple of them that would have been nice to see in full effect. Unfortunately, the movie is PG-13 so either the deaths lack blood, are too dark to see, or are cut away as it happens.
  Really, the movie couldn’t be any more directed towards the teenage audience. Not only with the deaths, but the story is meant for them. Many of them will be able to relate to what Clare goes through, or maybe with some of the characters around her. On top of that, they probably won’t realize the subpar acting, including a lack luster performance from an experienced actor like Ryan Phillippe. 
  It won’t take long for older horror fans to realize that the deaths in “Wish Upon” play out a lot like those in the Final Destination franchise. While the suspense is there, the deaths are more like Final Destination lite. While the movie tries to pull surprises, it fails for anyone actually paying attention, and even ends as expected. Basically, if you’re a teenage horror fan, go enjoy the movie. For those that actually want to see a death scene play out in full, forget about it! With that, my wish is to give this movie 1 pool of blood.

  HorrO

  *There is an after credits scene*

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