After a disappointing first movie, I was highly sceptical about the prequel. But the trailers and teasers rolled in, and I became excited. Could this outdo the first movie? Could this be better? Would this give fans the prequel they deserve that links The Conjuring to Annabelle? Then came the word of mouth reviews that the movie was 'great', 'awesome', 'chilling', 'creepy', and 'better than the first one by far!' After hearing these - and more positive comments - I set up a date to go watch this movie in the hopes that I'd walk out of the theatre satisfied and pleasantly spooked.
And that's exactly what happened!
I'll start with the best policy: honesty. The first fifteen minutes are somewhat slow-paced, building the story, establishing a pace, introducing the characters and their relevance and history. So don't be impatience, give it a minute! But I assure you, after those fifteen minutes, you'll be begging for a rest from the jumps and creepiness.
The story, explaining how Annabelle came into light, is set in the home of Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther who live in desolation, away from the prying eyes of people. Even years after the sudden death of their daughter, they are still grief-stricken, and as it turns out fear-stricken.
Sam kindly opens his home to Sister Charlotte and six young girls who would have been left homeless after the closing of their orphanage had it not been for their generosity. But from the very first night, it is clear something is not quite right. There is a room forbidden to the young girls. But, being curious, one girl happens to go inside, despite specific orders not too. This starts the endless hauntings and unexplainable occurrences.
We have moments of chilling terror, quick jumps, and pure eeriness. I was impressed with the diversity of the scares. While obviously the bulk of the horror is focused on the mysterious doll found in a locked bedroom, there are other entities out to scare us sh*tless!
The atmospheric buildup in this is superb, I have to say. Props to the director (David. F. Sandberg) for bringing a fresh lease of life into the 'possessed doll' sub-genre within horror. David is a fairly new director. You may have seen 'Lights Out' which was also an impressive flick that had originally been a short film, made into a full-length feature.
The acting, from the entire cast, was excellent. They brought genuine characters to the story. They showed confusion, frustration, and fear, flawlessly. We had conflict and confrontation among the young girls, as expected when living together 24/7. But they all banded together upon the realization that something in that house was out to get them.
This movie had every ingredient necessary for a great horror movie, and they were mixed deliciously. We have brilliant acting, moments of sheer terror, tense atmospheric buildup, and an original story. Overall, us horror fans were given a respectful prequel that links well to the Annabelle movie, and the Conjuring franchise. And the ending will have the true horror buffs geeking out, trust me on that.
I'd rate it a must-see horror movie.
Seriously, why are we excited for Stranger Things season two?
Could it be the sci-fi/horror vibe that is reminiscent of a Stephen King movie adaptation where a group of kids are the leads? That has to be one of the reasons. I love the perfect blend of science fiction and horror it has. I am eager to see if they can maintain that feel for the second season.
Perhaps it is that the show takes place in a much simpler time in American history? There didn't seem to be as much hate and prejudice back then. Or maybe it was just concealed better? But there are no cell phones, tablets, advanced computers, and laptops. Kids have to go outside to fill their evenings and weekends when they aren't at school. While I am in my twenties, I am still at an age where I spent most of my youth playing outside, traveling by bike. I am glad the era of social media hadn't taken over everything at that point. We took the time to get dirty, and to enjoy the time, not be obsessed with sharing it with the entire online world.
Maybe it is the kids? The kids are equally kooky. They are great comrades, sticking together through thick and thin. They are entertaining in their hilarious quips and views on the world. Who is your fave? Who can't you wait to see come back? Don't forget to let me know in the comments box!
It could quite possibly be the acting chops of one Ms. Winona Ryder. A stunning lady, with remarkable acting skills. I can't wait to see her face filling my screen again. Her portrayal of a suffering and frustrated mother in season one was magnificent. How will her character develop in this second season?
Let's not forget that awesome soundtrack. Talk about nostalgia! If anything makes you think of a certain era, it's music. And the carefully chosen music for this show shoots us right back to the 80s!
It may be reminiscent of an old sci-fi/horror movie, but this show is original. Netflix has truly made a one of a kind series that is loved by many. It feels as though the show has been ongoing for many seasons. We have to stop to remind ourselves that this is only the second season! I hope there will be many more seasons to come.
Whether we look at the kids or the adults, there is no weak link when it comes to acting ability. They all pull their weight. All actors contribute meaningfully to their characters, and ultimately, to the show.
Maybe you are feenin' to see more monsters? I am curious to see what foes they'll battle this season. The special FX and makeup team sure did a great job with the first season. From the pictures the official Facebook page has posted, we have an idea that this time the evil will be much bigger and more ominous.
I don't know about you guys, but I really want Barb to come back. I love her! Come on guys, bring her back. We miss her. She's cute. She's adorable. She's amazeballs!
But another character millions of fans are hoping make a return is Eleven! That young girl plays an awesome role in the show. The acting chops on such a young lady is unbelievable. If she does come back, I am eager to see how her character will develop this time. Will she develop the same craving for Eggos? Will she learn to control those pesky nosebleeds? Who knows? But after being out for Halloween last year, and seeing half of the costumes being Eleven, we need a comeback, surely? Bring Eleven back! Bring Eleven back! Chant. Chant. Chant. You get my point.
Anyway, if you are anywhere near as excited as me, you are looking forward to all of the above. This show broke new ground, meshed genres, reminded us that child actors aren't to be taken lightly, and that originality is very much still a part of TV. This show gave me faith that there are still new storylines that can be tackled and executed with brilliance. So here's to season 2. It premieres on Netflix on Halloween! How perfect!
Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.