Film Review: Anna

Michael Crum’s low-budget horror Anna lacks the scares which would make a decent genre film.

Two friends decide to steal a doll from a paranormal museum, hoping to capture its supernatural powers for their online show. The pair get more than they bargain for when they lose control of the situation…

Directed by Michael Crum, Anna at first appears like a rip-off of Annabelle – certainly in name, premise and marketing. The film may have worked better as a straight up parody of the 2014 horror. As it stands, Anna is a bit of a mess. Crum seems to want to create a horror with comedic overtones, but none of these aspects work particularly well.

The script fails to ignite the ‘buddy’ humour that the film needs. Jacob and Shawn do not have the kind of rapport that they desperately require. Instead, interactions often fall flat. Better editing would certainly help tidy up some of the scenes, many of which lack sharpness.

The scares take a while to arrive, as the film takes its time getting to the supernatural action. When Crum does get to the horror element of the film, scares are not utilised as effectively as they could have been. Shaky cam is employed a little too much. Furthermore, although lighting is a cheap and effective way to heighten atmosphere, some shots are so dark that it is difficult to see what is happening.

Anna would have certainly benefitted from stronger production values. The scene in the paranormal museum is strange in that it seems that Alan Gunter’s Larry trips over his lines several times. It is not clear how intentional this is. Justin Duncan and Gerald Crum are suitable enough as Jacob and Shawn, but they would have benefited from a better script.

A silly parody of Annabelle would have been more entertaining than what Michael Crum has produced. Anna is not one to seek out.

Anna is available to watch on Digital Download from Monday 11th December 2017.

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