The Dark Avengers recruit another member. Annabelle: Creation – movie review

After watching Annabelle (2014) I had little anticipation for this prequel that fits in The Conjuring universe and revolves around a possessed doll.

However, the direction by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, 2016) and, mostly, an astounding 69% on RottenTomatoes, got me curious and slightly less negative about Annabelle: Creation.

What’s my opinion on it, then?

First, the plot: a group of orphan girls move to the house of Samuel Mullins and his wife, Esther, who, 12 years prior, have lost their beloved daughter Annabelle – killed in a hit and run accident.

Annabelle Creation 2When one of the girls, Janice, a young orphan who suffers from polio, sneaks into a locked room, she finds a creepy doll, unwittingly releasing the demon who begins to terrorise the girls, with a special interest in Janice.

The film is set in the 50s, in an isolated house a few miles away from a small Americana town. Compared to the first Annabelle film, Creation smartly chooses a location and an environment highly suitable for a haunted story.

Furthermore, Sandberg had the clever idea to untie its movie from the awful Annabelle, going for a prequel that guaranteed him more freedom rather than continuing with the ridiculous storyline of the 2014 flick.

Annabelle Creation 1Although driven by young actors, the performances in Creation are compelling overall: Talitha Bateman (Janice) and her best friend Linda (well portrayed by Lulu Wilson) are amazing in their roles. Yet, Sandberg decides to switch the lead between the two girls, making for a fresh storytelling in an otherwise formulaic horror flick.

Don’t worry, though, if you’re looking for the same, comforting bad acting that characterises the majority of horror flicks: Anthony LaPaglia (Samuel Mullins) drags himself around with the same facial expression he had while he was looking for missing people in 160 episodes of Without a Trace.

Besides some excellent performance, nice locations and good camera-work, Annabelle: Creation is as dull as Anthony LaPaglia in his role.

Without spoiling anything, this film doesn’t even have a plot twist: it’s predictable, the jump-scares are obvious (only one, in a staircase scene, got me) and the characters do what you expect them to.

Annabelle Creation 3Yet, Creation tries too hard to fit within The Conjuring universe and, simultaneously, to recreate Insidious (2010). The demon’s victims are all female (alike in The Conjuring), the jump-scares come from loud noises and hideous faces (Insidious), the prevalent colours are different shades of grey (The Conjuring) and the demon is the spit image of Lipstick-Face from Insidious.

The doll is just thrown in the mix, because, let’s be frank, the production company wants to fill up The Conjuring universe with spin-offs about the evil spirits that featured in the two Conjuring movie.

There is even a hint to the Nun in a scene of Creation. I expect Warner Brothers to come up with a Dark Avengers movie in a few years, featuring Annabelle, The Nun and The Crooked Man!

In conclusion, Annabelle: Creation is a massive improvement upon Annabelle. Although even a feature-length film about a dog pooping in the streets would be a better movie than Annabelle.

At the same time, though, Creation falls into all the stereotypical horror clichés we’ve seen tons of times before. It’s an enjoyable film based on a silly premise and unimaginative storytelling that, at the end, leaves you with nothing more than one hour and fifty minutes of mindless entertainment. Cheers!

A shameless Annabelle and Paranormal Activity rip-off. Heidi – movie review

Released straight for DVD, Heidi has lately made a name for itself among a niche of horror fans.

The found-footage film (as if we needed more of this type of movies) features a creepy doll, not unlike Annabelle, that haunts two high school pranksters who found it, obviously, in a neighbour’s attic.

Consequently, hell breaks loose and our main characters get surrounded by mysterious deaths and inexplicable events. Which, of course, are documented by high quality cameras by our protagonists, although they come from needy families and are not supposed to afford such an expensive equipment.

heide-horror-movie-news-5Furthermore, as if the plot wasn’t dumb enough, there is no character development whatsoever: our main guys are only voices behind a camera, therefore impossible to side with. Similarly, every other character is insipid and dull, a device utilised purely to carry the plot along.

Due to its lack of interesting character and reasonable plot, some may expect Heidi to have good jump-scares and tense moments, at least.

Unfortunately, this is a boring ass flick in which nothing of any interest happens. The jump-scares are all false: a bird hits a window, a car horn honks, a sudden noise from upstairs just happens.

And the atmosphere is everything but unsettling. Most of the time, it’s so dark that the viewer can’t see anything and the only hint to tension comes from the main guy’s heavy breath. Which, by the way, is never followed by an action but only by a dull moment where not a single thing occurs.

This movie is joke. Or, I’d better say, a hoax. Not because of the film itself, which is still painful to watch, but since it was made purely to milk money out of people’s pockets off a ridiculous budget.

Indeed, my main issue with Heidi consists of the lack of passion and love for making a movie behind it. The marketing campaign clearly aimed to an audience particularly down for flicks like Annabelle and Paranormal Activity – which, despite being quite awful films, have made a humongous profit.

But even the target audience must have been disappointed by the result. Heidi is, in fact, a soulless movie that has no purpose whatsoever other than making money with the minimum effort. Don’t watch it, please. Cheers!