Film #23 in 31 Days of Halloween Horror, 2014
Takes a while to get going, and it takes about 40 minutes for Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and John Carradine to even appear on screen. But seeing all 4 genre legends share the screen is worth the price of admission, each playing characters that perfectly suit their strengths to a T. Price especially is game as he pokes fun of his overacting/flamboyantly hammy late career reputation with the self-aware…
Film #22 in 31 Days of Halloween Horror, 2014
A zany, slapstick comedy where the lowbrow physical antics are amped up by a verbose Richard Matheson screenplay and a great cast including Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Basil Rathbone. Lorre and Price are especially hilarious together, displaying great "old couple" chemistry as the bumbling undertakers resorting to homicidal means to sustain their business. Karloff is almost unrecognizable as Price's senile father-in-law, and Rathbone displays his comic chops as a Macbeth-quoting landlord who simply will not stay dead.
Although it admirably tries to retain the spirit and tone of The Conjuring, Annabelle is in many respects a lesser film than its predecessor. A sense of Rosemary's Baby-esque parental dread does effectively permeate the film, but the scares themselves are mostly ineffectual save for the first and last ones. Still, it is centered by a lovely performance by Annabelle Wallis - hope this leads to bigger and better things for her.
Eagerly waiting for the Warrens to return to the big screen in The Conjuring sequel.
Old-fashioned Hollywood weepie with a devastating ending, but it tugs on the heart strings so very well. Jane Seymour has never been more exquisite. Christopher Reeve utilizes his gentle, boyish charisma to maximum effect. But of course, the main draw here is the legendary John Barry's (RIP) unforgettable score. The swells and cadences of the main theme are equal parts pure love and pure melancholy - a perfect aural representation of Richard's state-of-mind throughout the film.