Friday, 18 August 2017

Annabelle: Creation - The scoop and digest

Production team of James Wan and Peter Safran is unchanged, but John R. Leonetti makes way for David F. Sanberg to direct prequel number 2.

Stephanie Sigman - Sister Charlotte
Talitha Bateman - Janice
Philippa Coulthard - Nancy
Lulu Wilson - Linda
Anthony LaPaglia - Samuel
Miranda Otto - Esther

12 years after the death of their child Bee (Annabelle), former toy maker Samuel Mullins (doll's creator), agrees to provide shelter for Sister C and orphaned children.

After the formalities of settling in, a message shoved underneath Janice's door has polio sufferer sin and enter Bee's now mysteriously unlocked bedroom.

Key found inside doll house is used to unlock nearby closet, where a certain ugly plaything sits.

Oh dear.

Demon begins to have fun by terrorising the girls in a variety of ways.

One night, Janice is thrown high in the sky and brought back to earth with a nasty bump, condemning her to a wheelchair.

Evil presence 'escorts' Janice to shed where demon, in the form of Bee's spirit, vomits icky substance into mouth.

The Conjuring's antagonist Bathsheba possessed Carolyn in exactly the same way.

An angry Samuel makes the fatal mistake of flashing handmade crucifix at demon.

It was nice knowing yer' pal.

Sister C visits a bedridden Esther, who explains via flashback, couple believed demon to be daughter's ghost, giving entity licence to use doll as a conduit to claim a human soul.

Before disappearing, attack left Esther hideously disfigured.

Priest blessing house and Samuel imprisoning porcelain apparently remedied situation.

Unfortunately, evil woke up.

While Janice is taking forty winks, Linda takes doll and throws it down the well, but like a bad penny...

As things come to a head, Esther is killed off-screen and Janice attempts to murder Linda, but Sister C saves the day by barricading her and doll inside closet.

Survivors escape and witness demon having a tantrum by wrecking house.

The police search for Janice, but only find doll.

Mr and Mrs Higgins adopt Janice at an orphanage and rename her 'Annabelle'.

Their gift is an excellent replica of the real raggedy doll.

12 years later (or 1969), satanist cult member Annabelle dispatches adoptive parents, sparking off events of 'sequel'.

Unlike 2014 film, murder is shown inside the house.

A post-credits scene shows candles are frightened of Valak in the Abbey of St. Carta, 1952.


Much like Ouija: Origin of Evil, this wipes the floor with predecessor.

While shit your pants moments are effective, first half has too many, leaving final act slightly underwhelming.

Nevertheless, there's plenty to appreciate.

Crucified scarecrow is a neat reference to Esther's gruesome demise.

Performances are largely impressive and importantly, dialogue contains zero cheese.

One question.

With all the shit going down in Bee's room, why the FUCK does Janice keep going back for more?

Fair enough, demon could easily force her to anyway, but even so.

For the benefit of those who missed it, Sister C shows Samuel a photograph taken while she was in Romania, and sinister religious figure can be seen in the darkness.

Guess what?

Corin 'The Hallows' Hardy will bring The Conjuring 2 spin-off/prequel The Nun next year.

I'll be there.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Video games and film references - Act I

No major introduction required, so let's dive straight in.

Call of Duty 2 - Saving Private Ryan
The Battle of Pointe du Hoc
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - Aliens
Gaz: "I like to keep this for close encounters."
The correct quote by Hicks is: "I like to keep this handy, for close encounters."
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
On your feet soldier (The Terminator)
and We are leaving could well be Aliens, as in "Drake, we are leaving."
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Apocalypse Now
Patrol boat mayhem.
Call of Duty: Black Ops - The Deer Hunter
Bowman's death.
Call of Duty: World at War - Enemy at the Gates
Sniper rifle scene.
Providing Conker's Bad Fur Day and obviously Xbox remake Conker: Live & Reloaded are ignored...

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was first to reenact scene of Spielberg's classic.
Box art of Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood could well in principle be based on famous 'helmet on beach' still from The Longest Day.

The Fog map in Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught DLC is a right mix and match epic.

Bloodstained mattress brought Julia back in the mediocre Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
Jaws most definitely isn't a horror film, but whatever, the Orca is docked in the swamp.
Monkey Shines
Sinister mist makes me Scream (1996).
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Evil Dead

Old style TV, video tapes and well

The Evil Dead

Cassette recorder and chained basement

Evil Dead II

Chainsaw outline and broken bridge

Ash never wedged Linda's skull inside vice.

Only possessed head tasted chainsaw.
Name tributes

Bugenhagen (Final Fantasy VII) vs Leo McKern (The Omen and Damien: Omen II)

Michael Gambon would play him in the senseless 2006 remake of 1976 original.

Major Dutch Schaefer (Alien vs. Predator 1994) vs Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator)

Scarface (Smash TV) vs Tony Montana (Scarface 1983)

It's highly unlikely that creators Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell gave 1932 film of same name a second thought.

Nosferatu (Resident Evil Code: Veronica / X) vs Count Orlok (Max Schreck)

Ruling upper part of castle, magic-wielding vampire Count Olrox in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night serves as an obvious reference.

But wait a minute.

Akumajō Dracula (X68000)
Arranged mode in PS1 port Castlevania Chronicles didn't really add garlic.
Like Bad Dudes, Sly Spy is another Data East cult classic.

The whole premise is unashamedly James Bond, and before play starts, you can pointlessly choose Agent's codename.


Jaws (various)
Oddjob (Goldfinger)
Yes, bowler hat is thrown...
JIM suit diver (For Your Eyes Only)

Lotus Esprit Turbo could be another nod to FYEO.
Freefalling could've been inspired by Moonraker
Diving may be reffing Thunderball.
Back to the Future

1.21 gigawatts

Crysis 2
Total Carnage

Comical torture sequences are measured in gigawatts.
Great Scott!
2001: A Space Odyssey

HAL 9000

343 Guilty Spark (Halo series) and Wheatley (Portal 2)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

"I need a vacation."

Aero Fighters
Lost Land Adventure
X-Men: Children of the Atom (Wolverine's ending)
Thumbs up

Doom (2016)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell

It's not particularly clear, but touching 'liquid nitrogen' surface in Doom (2016) has marine's arm become instantly brittle and break off.
Malfunction does not compute.
Here's something cute that debuted in Mortal Kombat 3.

Jax adapts bionic arms for liquid metal-esque fatality.
A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger was originally DLC in Mortal Kombat (2011).

Without going really deep, enjoy some tidbits.

Tell 'Em Freddy Sent Ya
Blood geyser fatality was inspired by Glen's death in Wes Craven's classic 1984 original.
Even though Robert Englund voiced sound effects, portrait seems to be based on Jackie Earle Haley from the unspeakably BAD 2010 remake.


Guts of ending rings loud bells of movie poster.

To retain consistency with game mechanics, dream invader was given a bladed glove for each hand.

Consequently, he now looks like Freddy wannabe Choi Bounge (The King of Fighters series).

You've gotta laugh.

Fellow horror icons Leatherface, Jason Vorhees, Alien and Predator could be got via DLC in MK X, and were included hassle free in MK XL.

One more.

In name only, fatality Heeeere's Johnny! pays homage to The Shining.
Actual graphic reminds me of a set-piece from Peter Jackson's splatstick comedy classic Braindead.

Best line has to be from Stuart Devenie's Father McGruder:

"I kick ass for the Lord."


Duke Nukem Forever

Aliens - Game over man
American Psycho - Feed me a stray cat
Ez Moneys could be a T2 reference, as it's something you'd immediately associate with John Connor, rather than Swedish film franchise (Snabba Cash).
Back to the Future - 1.21 gigawatts
Even though Arnie asks Dick Miller for a phased plasma rifle in The Terminator, every ref counts.
From Dusk Till Dawn
This refers to opening hours of seedy vampire bar Titty Twister
The Shining - Redrum
Total Recall
Baby, you make me wish I had three guns
Swapping hands for guns, quote is a pun on Benny's experience of groping Mary.
Oh look, alien boss has three tits.
More, more and some more.

Left 4 Dead 2 - 28 Days Later
Repent the ending is extremely ----------- nigh
Why is 'fucking' scribbled out?
Maniac Mansion - Saturday Night Fever
Check out artwork on side of fictitious arcade Disco Crazy, for something along the lines of John Travolta in white suit.
Sam and Max Hit the Road - Creature from the Black Lagoon
In this case, Evelyn Morrison classic Revenge of the Gill Guy.
Evil Dead II


After each stage in Earthworm Jim, protagonist exclaims Groovy!

In an alternative reality.

All my own work yer' know.

New Junk City is surely a ref to Wesley Snipes gangster thriller New Jack City.

DOS version aside, sequel features a stage called Lorenzen's Soil, which is probably a pun of Lorenzo's Oil.

Borderlands 2 - Seven
"Oh, what's in the box?!?"
Pistol is called Gwen's head, after Gwyneth Paltrow who played Brad Pitt's wife Tracy.
Wouldn't it make more sense to call firearm Tracy's head?
Hey ho.

Smash TV - Robocop
Evil M.C can blurt out "I'd buy that for a dollar."
Presenting the grand finale.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Black Knight: "None shall pass!"

The Secret of Monkey Island
Planting a knight in action-hybrid strategy The Horde has protector state catchphrase.

You can't remove Old King Coal's legs in Banjo-Tooie, but grubby boiler monarch bears enough similarity.
"Look you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left."
The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch

Fallout: New Vegas
Worms series
The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog

Yacopu (Galaxy Fight)
While claim is outlandish, here's a done deal.

Kitana's animality (MK 3)
That rabbit's dynamite.

See you next time.
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