Horror Films A–Z, Oct. 2020: U, V & W

Uncanny Annie

Year: 2019
Runtime: 1h 30m
Rated: TV-MA

Director: Paul Davis

Writers: Alan Blake Bachelor, James Bachelor

Stars: Adelaide Kane, Georgie Flores, Paige McGhee

“Where do you keep your tools?”

Initial: “Katherine, what’s all this Hulu love?” Well, Hulu is the streaming service I currently subscribe to, so I might as well use it.

Production Notes: Another of Hulu/Blumhouse’s Into the Dark series.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
As a fan of concepts like the Deck of Many Things in Dungeons & Dragons, I wish this were a better movie. First of all, for a film called Uncanny Annie, it’s rather devoid of Annie. I’m not sure why you’d set up a creepy little girl villain, but then not use her. The black void the characters found themselves in is a great budget saver, but it didn’t quite work. The cast worked pretty well together, but I wished they’d been a smidge smarter, especially considering that several of them were fairly experienced tabletop and board gamers.

The Visitor

Year: 1979
Runtime: 1h 48
Rated: R

Director: Giulio Paradisi (as Michael J. Paradise)

Writers: Luciano Comici, Robert Mundi, Giulio Paradisi, Ovidio G. Assonitis

Stars: Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen

“Beautiful and peaceful. Where would that be?”

“Far away. Beyond the imagination.”

Initial: After watching the trailer, what even is this movie?!

Production Notes: Cast also includes director Sam Peckinpah.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
This is a bizarre movie, but despite what I’ve read of other people’s experiences of it, not incomprehensible. The plot is fairly simple. An evil alien (but totally not a demon) has spread his genes around. Barbara has passed some of those genes to her daughter, Katy, who is manifesting some malevolent psychic abilities (but is totally not possessed). A group of cultists (and Katy) want Barbara to have another child (a son, but totally not the antichrist). An old guy from space or maybe just another dimension wants to put a stop to this. The rest is amazing shots of people’s eyes, an absolutely terrible 70s action score, an amazing amount of easy-break glass, and Lance Henriksen being dispatched by a switchblade-wielding clay pigeon.

What We Do in the Shadows

Year: 2014
Runtime: 1h 26m
Rated: R

Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

Writers: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi

Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer

“I was thinking, maybe… I should just bring a broom down here for you, if you wanted to sweep up some of the skeletons. I don’t know…”

Initial: I’ve been in the mood to watch Thor: Ragnarok, but it’s the Horror A to Z…

Production Notes: There’s a What We Do series on Hulu. I’ve watched a few episodes, but it hasn’t caught on with me. It tries too hard…

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
I love a good horror comedy. What We Do in the Shadows is maybe more subtle in its comedy than most, relying on the absurdity of the situation, four vampires sharing a house, than out-and-out jokes. But I did notice more call-backs on this rewatch (I’ve probably seen WWDitS three times now). Ex. Vladislav the Poker’s look of excitement when told he can “poke” someone on Facebook. There are a few scenes that are a bit scary too: Nick attempting to flee the dinner party; Stu and the camera men suddenly being very much in danger. And well, as a vampire movie probably should, there’s a lot of blood.

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