Welcome to Blood on my Sofa! Each month I will be providing you with a movie recommendation. It won’t be just any movie, but a film I watched during the previous month that really rocked my world. In this installment, we will be taking a look at Into the Dark: Uncanny Annie.
Wsup, Witches? I had to steal that from a recent installment into Blumhouse’s Into the Dark. Yes, the series has had its ups and downs. Some people rave about it; others struggle to find an episode they actually like. As with any anthology series, I often change the rankings of my favorite Into the Dark episodes. But I am happy to announce that Paul Davis’s Uncanny Annie will remain in a top spot on my ever-changing list.
Uncanny Annie takes place on Halloween night and sees a group of college students gathering together in memory of their mutual friend Tony (Avery Bagenstos), who drowned a year ago. Since Tony was the biggest boardgame enthusiast among the group, the six friends retrieve a stack of boardgames from the basement to play in his honor. After disagreeing over several, they settle on the strange and dark Uncanny Annie. What begins as harmless fun soon turns deadly. The group finds that they are trapped in this mysterious board game that conjures their deepest fears and darkest secrets. How will the game end? Well, death is one way, according to the trailer. The other—sheer determination to make it to the end alive. At least that’s what the instructions promise.
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Brothers Alan and James Bachelor are responsible for the story. What I enjoyed is that they had many elements in this film that paid homage to the great horror films of the past. Additionally, you could sense their love for games like Dungeons and Dragons and Settlers of Catan. Above all, you witness that they just want to deliver a full story. Imagine trying to do this in eighty minutes, all while also trying to deliver something different. However, under Paul Davis’s direction, everyone involved manifested the result—or at least came close to what they set out to manifest.
In some of the previous Into the Dark episodes, much was attempted on a tight budget. This left a lot of the episodes feeling incomplete. However, the team behind this installment succeeded in allocating time and finances in the right places. Because the film is mainly set in one location (which is usually a budget friendly way to go) that allowed for some impressive special effects and costume design.
I recommend this movie if you are looking for a fun and festive night. Especially one that represents this Halloween season in ways you can appreciate. There are some serious elements; but ultimately, you will walk away with a level of joy—and potentially a bit of curiosity as to what other ideas these filmmakers have.