Annabelle Creation: They’ve Created a Monster

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Please note: Annabelle in italics refers to the film, while plain text Annabelle refers to the character.

Annabelle: Creation is the cinematic form of Frankenstein’s monster. By that I mean it’s a bunch of parts stitched together to make an abomination trying to pass itself off as the real deal. The film desperately tries to cram in all of the usual possession film tropes in order to create tension. Since the tension is never allowed to evolve naturally, the results feel heavy handed and laughable. At this point, Hollywood’s desperation to imitate the James Wan aesthetic is nothing more than a pathetic cash grab.

This catastrophe revolves around a group of young orphans sent to live in the country with a couple of doll makers. These doll makers are of course the creators of the original Annabelle who was modeled after their daughter. When their daughter dies tragically, they seal her room away with the doll in it. The arrival of the young girls triggers her awakening. Terror ensues.

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The first problem of Annabelle: Creation is that there is just too much happening. The film tries to introduce about 50 set pieces. There’s a tea set, a dollhouse, a scarecrow, a stairlift, and more. While each of these elements could be wicked cool on their own, none of them are ever given the proper amount of time to shine.

Then we have the forced supernatural atmosphere. I’m convinced someone over at Blumhouse has a checklist of all the cliches that need to be shoved into every modern horror film. Annabelle: Creation provides all the usual suspects including loud string music, fake jump scares, and little girls bending like contortionists. Unfortunately all of the tropes leave little room for actual plot. For example, a demon possesses the doll, and it needs a human host. Why? I couldn’t tell you. It already has a physical form. Plot holes like this can be found popping up throughout the entire movie.

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Another unavoidable issue with the film is that the doll is absurd looking. They tried way too hard to make her look creepy. No one would buy a doll that ugly. She looks like a Halloween decoration. Dolls are inherently creepy. It’s just unnecessary to take it so far. In a campy film like Dolly Dearest, this approach works. However in a gravely serious supernatural horror/drama it does not.

In all honesty, I’ve never cared for Annabelle. I didn’t like her in The Conjuring. The Annabelle portion of The Conjuring always seemed out of place, like that subplot was an afterthought. I absolutely despised the first Annabelle spinoff, and this latest addition isn’t much better.

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Annabelle: Creation does contain some spooky stuff, but the majority of the film is messy and unentertaining. While the setting and costumes are appealing, no amount of scenery can make up for the lack of a good story. I love The Conjuring 2 and Ouija: Origins, but I’m starting to think it might be time to put the “little girls getting possessed” narrative back into the coffin. Anyone with me?

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Are You Ready For The Exorcist?

excorcist_fox_title_cardA few weeks ago, the world saw the return of The Exorcist with the new TV show based on the classic horror movie franchise. Now, those who are familiar with the franchise, know that historically, the sequels, spinoffs, and reboots of The Exorcist have not met much success. However, it looks like this time around, the series has found success… so far.

As of today, we are two episodes in and the story has become quite intriguing.Viewers have been introduced to the Rance family, who seem to be going through troubled times. Matriarch Angela (Geena Davis) is trying to hold her family together as her husband (Alan Ruck) seems to be suffering from a mental degenerative issue and her oldest daughter has become a recluse after a car accident. Angela finds comfort and support from her local church, headed by Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera).

the-exorcist-tv-seriesNow to add more intrigue to the story, Tomas has been experiencing odd dreams of another priest, Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels). In his dreams, Keane performs an exorcism on a small boy, that goes horribly wrong, resulting in a demon killing the boy. Tomas tries to ignore the dreams until Angela approaches him after witnessing strange things occurring in her home. When Tomas investigates, he witnesses the demon in action. It’s possessed Angela’s daughter. Now believing that these events are possibly connected, Tomas seeks help from Marcus to fight these demons. Reluctantly, Marcus joins the fight, but may have a few secrets and demons of his own to battle.

Only two episodes in, I’m already intrigued by the story and am finding myself more hooked than I thought I would be. While I’m not finding the show to be particularly terrifying, I am enjoying the story and the mystery. That makes the it worth watching.

the_exorcist2I really appreciate the fact that the show hasn’t tried to rip off the original or ignore it completely. It has a few hidden Easter eggs from the original film. At the same time, it’s trying to pave its own path with its own story and characters. With that being said, I’m excited and nervous to see where it goes from here. There is a fine line between the show being amazing or another disaster, and it’s going to have to tip toe along that line for a while.

For those unfamiliar with original horror film classic, The Exorcist came out in 1973 and still to this day is considered one of the scariest movies ever made. As a fan of both the film and the William Peter Blatty novel, which the film is based, I agree it’s terrifying.

It’s enjoyable, a little creepy, and a mystery. It’s worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the film.

The Exorcist airs Friday nights on Fox. Check your local listings for times and channels.

(All Photos from 20th Century Fox)