The Reviews are In: Gone Girl

gone_aMy attempt to read Gillian Flynn’s mega-opus Gone Girl was, at best, halfhearted. I like books that end in a marriage, not begin with the end of one. So when Gone Girl‘s film adaptation was announced I thought, “sorry Ben Affleck, but Jane Austen has gotten me this far”. That being said, I did in fact end up seeing this movie during it’s opening weekend. What can I say, what I lack in conviction I make up for in plenty of free time to see movies I previously determined not to see.

And you know what? I totally dug it. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, the husband of missing Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Suspicions fall to Nick because apparently most cops are overly familiar with Law and Order and he does, objectively, seem super guilty. And although the audience is clued-in pretty early, it doesn’t make the unfolding of events any less thrilling. And freaky. Think Double Indemnity meets American Psycho meets The Scapegoat. Clear as mud?

Affleck may be the the film’s biggest name but the real star here is Pike. For reasons I can’t explain without initiating a spoiler rosamundgonegirl_640pxavalanche, her performance as Amy is insane, in every sense of the word. This lady is by no means an angel, although we can see how capable she is of perpetuating that myth. Getting to watch the game of psychological ping-pong between Adorable Amy and Demented Amy is a reason in itself to brave going out into the balmy October clime to see it in theaters. Which I recommend, because fictitious or not, insulting Amy Dunne seems like a categorically bad idea.

Whitney

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The Reviews are In: Annabelle

annabelle_movie_imagesChances are, you’ve seen Annabelle before. Several times. Let me break it down: creepy doll, catholic priest, couple whose marriage was ordained by the casting gods, tragic murder, satanic rituals. ect. Nothing about this movie is new or innovative or shocking. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.

Horror is a really formulaic genre for a reason. The same tropes and archetypes pop up again and again because they are rooted in what scares us. Annabelle takes advantage of that fact pretty shamelessly, beginning with the happy expectant couple, a Manson-style murder spree, and an onslaught of spooky ‘what the frak’ moments. I won’t synopsize because everything I could say would begin and end with ‘creepy doll’, but I will say that if you are a fan of gimmick-less horror, this one might be up your alley. Or at least up an adjacent alley. Annabelle feels like an homage to old-school scary, a feature length tribute to bygone classics like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. And while I don’t like the idea that this Conjuring spin-off is turning one of last years best movies into a haunted tent-pole, at least the result was a film freaky enough to do James Wan proud. So if you are looking forannabelle-movie-2 a serviceable, entertaining movie to see this weekend that could potentially derail your circadian rhythm, go see Annabelle. Or Guardians of the Galaxy for the 9th time. Either way, I fully support your decision.

Whitney