My first experience watching a horror movie in a theater. I went alone, as my family wouldn’t be comfortable for scares and sounds. 4DX technology in cinepolis, Viviana mall (Mumbai) did enrich the overall experience however, the script didn’t deserve such aid.
Although, I am not a great fan of the archetypal ‘slasher’ movies (franchises such as Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc.), I do like ‘psychological horror’, such as Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Long back Greek philosopher Aristotle posited that people were attracted to scary stories and violent dramatic plays because it gave them a chance to purge their negative emotions (a process he called ‘catharsis’) I can relate it since, it is not just with movies or visuals, but songs too. Yes, I meant, heavy metal (like Metallica). Sometimes, the loud music, strumming of electric guitar and drums is a cleansing process to my soul. Many a times, my wife has probed my inclination towards heavy metal, and I just don’t have a logical response. I slowly realize, that many a times, things in life aren’t logical, it is just like that. And therefore, there need not be any logical response. As I believe, movies are not successful, because, it looked logical and reasonable,. It is because, the art is connecting with audience desires and longing. Just imagine, do you cry, or emotionally connect with a logic ? lol 😉
Annabelle script, didn’t carry the intensity to create an impact with me. I felt, quite empty. There were few intelligent scenes, however so predictable and disappointing. The initial suspense, as to why Mr.& Mrs Mullins were behaving discreetly, could have been developed better. There were some fancy camera work only to fizzle out as the movie went on. But most of all, it wasn’t scary. What give this movie some encouragement is the young girl, Janice, played by Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), who is possessed by Annabelle’s demon. Bateman manages to be one of the only actresses of the orphan children that can deliver her lines and not sound like she is reading from a script. Her performance is not only believable but frighteningly so. As she goes from troubled young lady to possessed doll loving demon.
To me the overarching principle to a scary movie is ‘fear’. Fear can be narrated and displayed in a movie not just with blood, knife, killing, & darkness. And audience (like me), are not watching it for its gore and blood. I went for the thrill and experience. Normally, I get scared for getting into unknown. This unknown can be anything.
This ‘unknown’ part is the secret success. How a director keeps the audience guessing, in not revealing the unknown, yet flirting with the idea, scene by scene. I think, this is an intelligent way of showing fear in scary movie. I guess, the ‘Conjuring’ directorial team missed to delve deeper on that part. Isn’t it a greater calling and a niche craft to make a connect with the audience through story telling. I wonder why and how such an opportunity was missed.
And yes, for those few scary scenes, I did close my eyes, pretending to think of my spreadsheets and power points at work 😉