My week in film: “Nocturnal Animals” and “Annabelle: Creation” – April 7

 

After my content-filled post last week, I took it down a notch with my viewing habits. I was not able to make it out to the theater this week, but I did spend some time on the couch watching “Nocturnal Animals.” Keeping with the trailer theme from last week as well, I share my current thoughts on the new and terrifying “Annabelle: Creation” trailer.

At the movies:  On the couch

Nocturnal Animals” (2016):
This week’s “Redbox Rental” category takes the place of my usual “At the movies” spot, which is actually very fitting because originally I was desperate to see this film in theaters. But due to bad timing and a very limited release in my area, here I am a few months later enjoying  it from the comforts of my home. However, this film is far from comforting. Beautifully shot and directed, “Nocturnal Animals” is devastating, violent and numbing.
PLOT: Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) receives a copy of her estranged ex-husband’s most recent book, “Nocturnal Animals,” which is dedicated to Susan. Susan, now a respected art curator and gallery owner in Los Angeles, is consumed by the violent novel.

The film begins to blur the lines between reality and fiction, as the novel takes center stage. The acting is well done and the visuals are spectacular, but there is a slight disconnect in Amy Adams’ scenes. I enjoyed the visual style, but feel that the script slightly fell short. Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job, there was nothing too out of the ordinary with his performance, in fact it reminded me of his Nightcrawler (2010) performance at times. Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were both excellent. Isla Fischer also performed well.

The visuals, especially the transitions between novel and reality, are striking and the storyline is demanding of your attention but overall, the film fails to capture you fully because in the end it’s too preoccupied with looking good. It’s worth the watch, but it doesn’t rank higher than 7/10 for me.

 

Teasing with a trailer:

Annabelle: Creation” (2017):

A new trailer for “Annabelle: Creation” just came out, take a look if you haven’t seen it already!

I remember seeing the first “Annabelle” film in theaters and feeling completely disappointed. I was not impressed then, but seeing this trailer now makes me want to give this franchise another chance. The Annabelle storyline spawned from The Conjuring franchise, which I am a huge fan of  – I truly believe the two films in the franchise are chilling and some of the best possession films made recently.

My thoughts: I think it was really smart to open the trailer with a shot on someone creating the dolls eyes, since the eyes are often referred to the window to the soul and this is essentially an origin story. It’s clever to emphasize the doll’s soul/creation by drawing attention to the creation of the eyes.
The first jump -scare is actually really terrifying and I’m curious to see how the storyline will develop.  So far, I’m on board and have marked August 11 on my calendar.

Sorry to end the post on such a terrifying note. Do you think the new “Annabelle” film looks scary? What is your opinion on the first one?

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