Annabelle: Creation

A movie doing well in August doesn’t necessarily mean that movie is really doing well.  However, when all the most active users on <a href=””>Stardust</a> go to the movies every week, they’re all gonna see and talk about that movie.  I resisted seeing Annabelle: Creation for the same reason that I haven’t seen any of the other Conjur-verse movies.  I’m picky about horror, and big mainstream releases tend to skim on the substance and focus only on the scares.  But apparently this was among the better of those?

Mmm, not so much.  At least not for me.  I’d put it on the higher end of the thin horror movies, but it was still too thin a horror movie for me.  The point of the whole thing was the scares, and you have to be insanely adept at that in order to do it for me.  It wasn’t.  So then you’d need a story that’s compelling on its own that just happen to bring the frights.  Nope, kinda slim story.  I guess then a layered allegorical story is out of the question, huh?  Yeah, not getting that here.
But for you, if you just like the scares, there were some pretty creepy things here.  Enough shady imagery that I was wary of falling asleep during the film, and was just a bit creeped out.  That faded for me by the time I walked out of the auditorium and into the nearby Dave and Buster’s, but hey, I’m tough to please in this genre.  I know what I like in horror, and that wasn’t it.

Annabelle: Creation – \m/ \n

Ingrid Goes West

It’s certainly possible to get the point of a movie, but not enjoy the movie itself.  Or maybe I didn’t enjoy the movie because I got the point too early?  I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s back up.

In Ingrid Goes West, Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid moves to SoCal to follow her Instagram obsession Elizabeth Olsen’s Taylor.  He manipulates her way into Taylor’s life and creates a total fabrication of her own in order be accepted.  It’s supposedly a dark comedy, but I didn’t find it particularly funny.  Maybe I’m just over Plaza?

The main reason I didn’t like it was that I didn’t like either main character.  Nothing against the actresses, who gave solid performances, the characters were just too unlikeable for me.  Ingrid made some rather despicable plays and selfishly hurt people in her wake.  And she was supposta carry the movie.  Kinda hard to get in her corner when you see her harm herself and others, with nary a redeeming quality in sight.

But I didn’t like Taylor either.  And here’s where I think I got it too early.  I didn’t like Taylor because she felt so fake and vapid to me.  I didn’t care about her interests, and she too seemed rather self absorbed.  The point ended up being that yes she was faking everything, so was Ingrid really any worse?  Since as how I saw thru her from the beginning, do I win a prize?  No, I just had to sit thru what ended up being an exhausting movie for me.

Ingrid Goes West – \m/ \n

Wind River


Sometimes a trailer doesn’t do a movie justice.  It might make a film look rather run of the mill, without any indication that it’s something special.  Thankfully, there’s Stardust and all of the positive reactions to this movie moved it up my priority list.  It was so worth it.

Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (best known for writing Sicario and Hell or High Water), Wind River is basically a murder mystery on an Indian reservation.  A young girl is found dead in the snow by a local tracker (Jeremy Renner), and a lone inexperienced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate.  Sounds pretty basic, and again, that’s what the trailer suggested, but this is actually an incredibly solid screenplay and a very well put together mystery.

The film is strong in its pacing and suspense.  It’s a slow burn, but a satisfying one, not dragged out.  The angle of having a tracker involved brings a perspective that’s not often seen in other films.  Not to mention the beautiful wintery landscape that also introduced a sense of isolation and despair.

But the real strength was in the characters.  Renner’s character is invested because the victim was the best friend of his daughter who was killed a few years prior under similar mysterious circumstances.  The results are Renner’s best performance in years, and a reminder of the actor we saw break out in The Hurt Locker, instead of the Avenger that blends into the background.  Olsen also had a fire and a drive to her that further fueled the story.  Her passion combined with Renner’s pain made for an electric combination.

Overall, this was simply an expertly crafted film, on all fronts.  Last Sunday my Church group had us go around the room and introduce ourselves and give an example of some beautiful art we recently experienced.  This movie was my answer.

Wind River – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/