Review: Annihilation (2018)

“It’s destroying everything.”
– Dr Ventress

SYNOPSIS: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply. – via IMDB

Alright, so this movie seems to have a lot of people either super loving it, or totally hating it. I guess when I think back on it I can totally understand how one could end up in either camp, if I am being honest. There is a lot to like about Annihilation, but there is also a lot that is going to be annoying and can’t be overlooked.

I liked it quite a bit. It was ambiguous, but not in that unsatisfying way that It Comes At Night was. It raised a lot of questions and answered very few, and the few answers it did answer, I could have done without, and some that I wanted, I went without. Visually Annihilation is a beautiful film, and that cannot be denied. Strange shimmer, exotic everything going on behind the shimmer, this new world, all of it, and it works really well.

Then there is the cast. I think this is where the movie got hurt a bit. The characters are all really flat and lifeless, after all is said and done. Jennifer Jason Leigh is just angry and resentful and there. I could have done with more Oscar Isaac, too. Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman are the only two that will remotely stay with you. The logic is also a little bizarre – for years soldiers have been going in and nobody has been coming back. Let’s send a group of all-female scientists. Like, I got the sending scientists in and all that, but… the definition of insanity? Nothing is changing, evidently. With this there were inconsistencies (lost time only happening and addressed once the whole time??).

There were moments of delicious creepiness (you all know what I am talking about), and the explanation took away some of that beautiful horror shine for both my husband and myself, but the conclusion for this makes up for some of the weaker parts, all while leaving us with another ton of questions, which I liked. I definitely think that this movie is worth a rewatch to pick up on more things.

I think that Annihilation is ambitious and visually stunning, with decent performances of flat characters, and has a score that works really well. I don’t necessarily need a movie spoon fed to me, but Annihilation took it’s ambiguity throughout a little too seriously, leaving a slightly unsatisfied feeling towards the end, though the ambiguity of that is not what left me unsatisfied. Yes, I know that all sounds crazy. Worth a watch, and a rewatch for sure. Not Ex-Machina, but not terrible, either. I look forward to more of Garland’s work.

I went into this blind. I read a lot of good reviews on it, but didn’t read too in depth or anything. Don’t even watch the trailer, just go watch the movie.

JB & The Chop Do: Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

OMG another one of these mother fuckers…. and there’s like THREE MORE!!! FUCK!!! Why do we do this to ourselves??? BECAUSE WE’RE FUCKING COMMITTED, THAT’S WHY!! COMMITTED LIKE SONS OF BITCHES!!! Can you believe this is the FIFTEENTH Amityville movie we’ve discussed?? GODDAMN! Let me calm down a little bit and have a shot of that white jagermeister that dipshit was drinking in the last one of these we watched. *shoot* *slam* *exhale* aaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Let’s see what we’ve got here…

SYNOPSIS: A desperate single mother moves with her three children into the notorious, supposedly haunted, real-life Amityville house to try and use its dark powers to cure her comatose son. Things go horribly wrong. – via IMDB

I had never heard of Bella Thorne until I was watching The Babysitter one day and I was all ‘who is this hot chick??’ and looked her up and saw that she was in this new Amityville movie that took forever to get released.

She seems like a reasonable enough actress but I’m sure she was cast more for those 30 minutes she runs around in barely there underwear…

Which I’m not knocking in any way but that did seem a little unusual but, for PG 13 (in the U.S.) we didn’t get any tits or brother on sister sex. We did get a little of this, who looks to be in a lot better shape than the last time I saw her in that miserable Hateful 8 movie.

And I think, for the most part, things were going pretty good in this thing until the last 20 minutes. I know it was 20 minutes because I paused it with 20 minutes left to go sin (inside joke), returned and the rest of it was pretty shit. BUT – overall – this has to be one of the better entries into this miserable franchise.

There are several things I’ve never understood why producers / directors put into movies. I’ve griped about them before and even once made a manifesto of sorts – that page has  a lot of comments so, to keep it short:

  • cell phones and dial tones
  • tires screeching on dirt roads
  • people who don’t smoke conveniently having expensive lighters when it gets dark
  • drivers constantly shifting gears during high speed chases (does their car have eighteen gears or something)
  • when someone turns into a zombie / demon / mutant – why do their fucking teeth always get so fucking pointy??

………………… Exhibit A:

Poor Red (That 70’s Show)… he had a decent part and then got smothered with terrible fucking CGI flies…. and they all went in his mouth… what the fuck??

Oh well… this is not the worst move ever…  it’s not even the wort, which is how I spelled worst three times before I got it right… definitely better than ALL of the other ones except the first one and the Ryan Reynolds one.

Sweet Jesus, these movies are never going to end. As the dear Chop has pointed out, we are committed. Or masochists. Probably a good combination of both. When this movie eventually got released, I was shocked. Why? Eric and I have been waiting for this movie since we started this Amityville franchise in March of 2015 (!!!!!!), and even had other Amityville movies eagerly jump the line to get in before this one did. We thought we were waiting on one. Apparently this franchise had other ideas. But then it came. It finally came. Well hot damn, add it to the crazy list!

I popped this in, my husband took cover and hunkered down with some Battlefield 1, Natasha thought I had officially lost it, Ryan is probably still wondering (like us) whether evil ever dies, and got rolling… and was surprised. Goodness, who knew that there would be a decent instalment?! Now, I need to clarify this here so we are all on the same page: while this movie is by no means a great movie (or even particularly good), if compared to the other offerings in this franchise, it is definitely superior.

There is this piece in the movie where, for movie night, the kid offers up the original, the sequel (we all know how much I loved that one), and the 2005 remake. There was a lot of dissing on remakes, and I just want to put it on record here, the 2005 Amityville Horror is, without a doubt, the best movie in this franchise. So don’t knock it newbie, though you are better than the other drivel this franchise has churned out.

Just throwing this in here for science:

Okay, back to the movie…

Sorry, wrong movie! I know we sound like people defending this and not knocking it like so many have and calling it super crap and all, but we know better. I know that Cameron Monaghan is our new, young Joker in Gotham (though I have yet to see it – have seen clips though, and he looks like buckets of crazy), and I recognise Bella Thorne as the super bitch in The Duff – she’s still a bitch here, but not quite the same type.

The movie really wasn’t too bad starting off, though I desperately wanted to give that girl some clothes, which led me to question if girls in America all really lie around in their panties doing homework and then traversing the house in their knickers – the stereotype had to start somewhere, right?

Naturally the family is super dysfunctional (like what kind of Amityville movie would it be if it weren’t like that), and there are a ton of secrets surrounding the house. Peeps, I hate to say this, but I swear I am starting to get old. Bella, our main panty prancing, bad attitude protagonist grated on me. What is up with that? I mean I know teens are moody and disrespectful and all those things, but the more I see of that the older I am getting, the more insane it is (though her mom was cuckoo-katchoo to boot and she really does love her baby sister, whom she is just trying to protect). It is madness.

Anyway peeps, not a great horror, but a particularly good entry to this super shitty franchise. I won’t make the mistake of saying at least they are done now, because I am sure that, before we know it, the Chop and I will be back with more torture!