I was really looking forward to this movie; enough so that I sprung for a gold class ticket with the reclining chairs and food service etc.
I’d read good reviews and heard good things, there were strong assurances that it was not as bad as the first film; though lets be honest no studio horror SHOULD be as bad as the disneyfied crapfest that was the first Annabelle.
Toy maker Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia – serviceable) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto – not given much to work with) lose their daughter Bee in a tragic accident and bring her soul back to inhabit his freshly made Annabelle doll. Of course the spirit turns out to be malevolent and so they seal the doll away in a locked room where it is later discovered by a wandering troupe of orphans and their governess nun who had just relocated to the toymakers soon-to-be-overcome-with-evil house. The main two orphans, Janice played by (Talitha Bateman) and Linda (Lulu Wilson) are most likable kids and you can’t help but be invested in their welfare once creepy things start happening around the home.
The lack of coherency and plot is already making this review difficult to write. You see they set up the rules and then they proceeded to break them, not to serve the plot but to serve their ideas of what they wanted it to be so that they could shoehorn in some sort of half-baked connection to the rest of ‘The Conjuring’ universe and in particular the upcoming ‘The Nun’.
These characters are merely pawns that they can push around the story and manipulate to make the film go in the direction they wish it to.
Don’t like that Annabelle can only exist in one entity at a time? Just ignore that and change your mind midway through the movie so that suddenly she can be in three places at once even though it no longer follows the rules that were set up earlier; who cares right?
Its an obvious ploy to drum up interest in their next big ‘horror’ franchise, I may even suggest that’s its not that big a stretch to assume this film exists perhaps merely to serve that purpose.
This films insistence on not following its own rules at every turn is a bitter pill of apathy that this reviewer found tough to swallow.
AC was directed by David F. Sandberg, whose last film was ‘Lights Out’ (Lights Out review), another problematic horror that I found emblematic of the issues horror has today. Here he has made yet another cynical cash grab of the worse kind; and it is impossible, for me at least, to enjoy and be creeped out by a film that makes literally no sense. Of course it was produced by James Wan – the mans name is basically synonymous with mediocrity.
The disdain that they express for the audience in the lack of coherence is palpable, the fact that they don’t care at all about whether or not you can follow the plot or that it even makes sense just so long as the money keeps rolling in is disgraceful, and the fact that a lot of audiences lapped this up says a lot about the lack of good horror available on the big screen today (with of course the very notable exceptions of ‘It’ and ‘Get Out’ and, to a lesser degree ‘Happy Death Day’).
Plot holes abound, and make the thin threads of plot held together solely by holes that was the screenplay for ‘Don’t Breathe’, seem almost forgivable in comparison to how badly AC cheats its audience. My disappointment has led me to anger, and though my loathing of this film is likely an overblown reaction I cant help but feel angry at it.
It did the things that I find most unforgivable in a film – assume the audience will just accept and not question such a contradictory plot which is either arrogance or a lack of care for the audience, and to make money off a genre that I have enjoyed all my life without any desire to advance or contribute to it.
The two young orphans (Wilson and Bateman) are remarkably good actors; they deserved much better than this.