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Exclusive Interview with Wish Upon director John R. Leonetti

Luke Owen sits down with Wish Upon director John R. Leonetti

John R. Leonetti has had an incredible career behind the camera. While he may not be an instantly recognisable name, he has worked on some iconic movies, like Poltergeist, Weird Science, Commando, Child’s Play 3, Hot Shots! Part Deux, The Mask, Mortal Kombat, The Butterfly Effect, The Conjuring and many more. From his hard work behind the camera and passion for filmmaking, he was promoted to the director’s chair on sequels and spin-offs Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Butterfly Effect 2 and Annabelle. “All the way back when I was an assistant cameraman, way, way back when I was twenty years old – which was about 40 years ago – I was working on the Dukes of Hazzard, one of the directors took me under his wing,” Leonetti tells me. “I don’t know why, but he said, ‘John you’re going
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Trailer & new images from teen horror ‘Wish Upon’

From the director of Annabelle and starring Joey King (The Conjuring), Ryan Phillippe (I Know What You Did Last Summer), Shannon Purser (Barb from Stranger Things) and Sydney Park (The Walking Dead), Wish Upon is a wickedly chilling story about an alluring object imbued with sinister and dangerous powers, a cautionary tale that takes the ‘be careful what you wish for’ theme to frightening new levels…

17-year-old Clare Shannon (King) is barely surviving the hell that is high school, along with her friends, Meredith (Park) and June (Purser). So, when her dad (Phillippe) gifts her an old music box with an inscription that promises to grant the owner’s wishes, she thinks there is nothing to lose. Clare makes her first wish and, to her surprise, it comes true. Before long, she finally has it all: money, popularity and her dream boy. Everything seems perfect—until the people closest to
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

John R. Leonetti on How ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Influenced ‘Wish Upon’

John R. Leonetti’s IMDb page is a hell of a thing. The filmmaker cut his chops as a cameraman and a cinematographer on films by Steven Spielberg, Amy Heckerling, John Frankenheimer, James Wan, Walter Hill, John Hughes, Francis Ford Coppola… The list goes on and on. This, in and of itself, would be an impressive career; but Leonetti has also helmed a number of features himself – mostly genre horror flicks (Annabelle, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Butterfly Effect 2). Leonetti’s latest horror film, Wish Upon, feels like a 90s horror mash-up: two cups of Wishmaster, some chopped up …
See full article at Collider.com »

Afm: 'Stranger Things' star Shannon Purser joins 'Wish Upon'

Afm: 'Stranger Things' star Shannon Purser joins 'Wish Upon'
Netflix’s Stranger Things actress joins Joey King in Broad Green Pictures production; Mister Smith to sell at Afm.

Mister Smith Entertainment will launch international sales on the Broad Green Pictures production Wish Upon at the upcoming American Film Market in Los Angeles.

Currently in pre-production, John Leonetti (Annabelle) directs the script from Barbara Marshall (The Listener) and producer Sherryl Clark (Cloverfield) of Busted Shark Productions.

The film stars The Conjuring and Fargo’s Joey King, who will be joined by newly cast actress Shannon Purser, known for her breakout role as Barb in the Netflix series Stranger Things.

In the film, 16-year-old misfit Claire, played by King, finds a magic box that promises a chance at the life she’s always wanted, but each wish demands a deadly payment.

John Leonetti’s directorial credits include Annabelle and The Butterfly Effect 2. He previously worked as a cinematographer on features including The Conjuring, Soul Surfer, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘The Scorpion King 4: Quest For Power’ Review

Stars: Victor Webster, Lou Ferrigno, Michael Biehn, M. Emmet Walsh, Esmé Bianco, Barry Bostwick, Roy “Big CountryNelson, Royce Gracie, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Ellen Holman, Rutger Hauer | Written by Michael D. Weiss | Directed by Mike Eliott

You know you’re in trouble with a direct to DVD movie when the writer has a resume whose titles are made up of over 50% direct to DVD sequels to films that a) didn’t deserve a sequel or, even worse, b) didn’t need a sequel. Yes, from the pen of Michael Weiss – who has written such lauded films as Octopus 2, I Always Know What You Did Last Summer, The Butterfly Effect 2 and Hostel III – comes The Scorpion King 4. A film that is, given just how truly terrible the last film was (a shock given the great Dtv credits of its director Roel Reine), truly unexpected… After all, when all you
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

The Conjuring 2 pushed back to 2016

It was a surprise smash hit last year, but Warner Bros. has announced that the sequel to The Conjuring has been pushed back from its planned 2015 release date to an unspecified date in 2016.

The movie’s spin-off/prequel Annabelle was not a hit with critics when it was released a couple of weeks ago (read our reviews here, here and here), but it did gangbuster numbers at the box office with a worldwide total of $166 million against a reported $6.5 million budget.

There is no word on why The Conjuring 2 (which at present does not have an official title) has been pushed back, but the October 23rd 2015 now remains open for Warner Bros. who have not announced a movie to take its place. Chad and Carey Hayes, who wrote the original, will pen the sequel but no director has been announced. Unlike Annabelle, The Conjuring 2 is reported to follow the further
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Movie Review – Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle, 2014.

Directed by John R. Leonetti.

Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola and Alfre Woodard.

Synopsis:

A couple begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

Expectations were high after 2013’s superbly constructed horror The Conjuring graced our screen. Unfortunately the prequel Annabelle was a dull and lifeless 98 minutes that I will never get back. A well-crafted trailer (the marketing team behind that deserve every award going) promised great scares and a truly creepy premise. However, the film plods along at a snail’s pace and everything that should be scary is shown in the trailer and has no effect.

After making a brief and terrifying appearance in The Conjuring, everyone wanted to know more about Annabelle and I was looking forward to this prequel. But the film is badly acted, slow and is unable to build the slightest amount of tension.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Movie Review – Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle, 2014.

Directed by John R. Leonetti.

Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola and Alfre Woodard.

Synopsis:

A couple begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

John R. Leonetti is clearly a nice guy and is well liked by the people he works with. Having worked as director of photography on Paul W.S. Anderson’s Mortal Kombat, his nice attitude meant he was given the director’s chair for its sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. And despite that being a critical flop (but financially successful), he was hired to direct the straight-to-dvd feature, The Butterfly Effect 2, nearly ten years later which was once again a critical failure. Since 2007, Leonetti has been working with James Wan in the camera department for titles like Dead Silence, Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2 and The Conjuring and has done an admirable job. So,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Four new clips from The Conjuring spin-off, Annabelle

Having terrified audiences across America over the weekend, The Conjuring spin-off/prequel Annabelle is set to debut in the UK on October 10th. And we’ve got four new clips from the movie.

Read our review here and check out the clips below:

They Won’t Stop:

Falling Books:

Sewing Machine:

Demons Use Conduits:

Annabelle took an impressive $37.5 million over the weekend in the Us, impressing Child’s Play creator Don Mancini who has said he would like to have a showdown between Annabelle and Chucky.

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Flickering Myth Podcast Review – Annabelle (2014)

The Flickering Myth Podcast gets spooky…

Having made a name for herself as a bit part in last year’s smash success The Conjuring, Annabelle is back for her own movie from the director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and The Butterfly Effect 2. And with a track record like that, what could go wrong?

Read our review here.

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.

You can subscribe to the Flickering Myth Podcast via iTunes,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Annabelle | Review

Rosemary’s Scabies: Leonetti Does His Best James Wan Impression

Sure to take its place on future lists of cinematographer’s unfortunate attempts at directing, John R. Leonetti’s Annabelle, a sort-of prequel to a subplot from 2013’s The Conjuring, is technically assured though lacking in anything innately original or insidiously creepy. Basically another bargain basement housewife-in-peril horror film, Gary Dauberman’s script plays like another cheap Rosemary’s Baby knock-off, attempting to prove that a Los Angeles apartment complex is just as spooky as anything you’ll encounter in Manhattan. With no time wasted on comic relief as it takes itself surprisingly seriously (you can forget about all those Marlon Wayans shenanigans with ‘Abigail’ from A Haunted House 2), Leonetti leaves most of the heavy lifting to our own familiarity with the basic material and our lowered expectations with carbon copy.

It’s Southern California in the 1970s and
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Review: Annabelle

A number of films have been inspired by the cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, most notably The Amityville Horror. The most financially successful was 2013's The Conjuring, in which the couple played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga assist the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) with the demonic presence troubling their home. That film, which made over $318 million worldwide, is bookended with the tale of another of their cases. In it, the Warrens help a young nurse dealing with the sinister presence inhabiting a doll given to her by her mother. The film closes with a scene set in the basement room where the Warrens keep demonically possessed curiosities, the doll "Annabelle" in her glass case reigning as the most evil and feared. It serves as a perfect introduction for this week's prequel, Annabelle.

I did not expect the studio heads in their mad rush
See full article at Slackerwood »

Review: Evil doll movie 'Annabelle' never matches scary confidence of 'The Conjuring'

  • Hitfix
Review: Evil doll movie 'Annabelle' never matches scary confidence of 'The Conjuring'
John R. Leonetti is no James Wan. "The Conjuring" is one of the most exciting surprises I've had in recent memory. I didn't expect anything of it when I sat down to see the horror film in a screening room at what used to be the New Line offices on Robertson. It was me and a handful of other people in the room, and for the first time in a long time, I found myself genuinely caught up in a horror film, scared, absorbed in a way that often escapes me. "The Conjuring" is as confident a ghost story as I've seen in recent years, and Wan deserves whatever bump he gets from that film's success. I can see why "Annabelle" got made. I can hear the meetings in my head where the film was discussed, and it makes logical sense. After all, the opening sequence in "The Conjuring" is
See full article at Hitfix »

Annabelle (2014) Movie Review

Remember that evil doll from “The Conjuring”? It’s the kind of hellish looking children’s toy that you think no one would ever possibly give to a real child because just looking at that nasty smile would give it nightmares. Obviously, the first thing you thought walking out of James Wan’s film was, “That creepy doll needs its own movie,” right? Didn’t everyone think that? It sure seems that way, because that’s exactly what we now have with the prequel “Annabelle.” And if you think making a feature-length movie out of the backstory of a sinister doll—from the director of “The Butterfly Effect 2” no less—might be stretching the concept a bit thin, you are correct. Honestly, if you stumbled across this in a video store—if there’s still an open video store within a 50-mile radius of where you live—and picked
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

'Annabelle' (2014) Movie Review

Are all dolls creepy, or is it just dolls in horror movies because we know there's something that's supposed to be creepy about themc I ask because the doll in Annabelle, a prequel to the 2013 horror hit The Conjuring, is freaky as hell from the jump and something I would definitely never want in my house. The creepy factor of the soon-to-be-possessed doll at the center of this new thriller aside, Annabelle is a largely effective little thriller, too bad it has a god awful ending. Yet, Annabelle holds that frequent, horror movie mixture that has some audience members yelling "Just get rid of the doll! Set it on fire!" while others are left screaming, both in fright as well as good fun. At least, this was the mood with my audience, most of which seemed to have a pretty good time. And, before you ask, no, you don't need
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle set to become the biggest horror movie of the year

It opens in the Us this Friday and analysts are estimating that Annabelle, the spin-off from last year’s The Conjuring, is set to become the biggest horror movie of 2014.

It’s not been a good year from the genre, with all of the releases taking under $20 million in their opening weekend and no more than $32 million overall domestically. Last year saw horror perform really well with films like Insidious: Chapter 2 ($40 million), Mama (£28 million), Evil Dead ($27 million) and Texas Chainsaw 3D ($21 million), all topping the Us box office in their opening weekends.

That all looks to change though with experts claiming that Annabelle is set to take roughly $25 million.

Here’s the other big releases of the year:

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones ($18 million opening, $32 million overall)

Devil’s Due ($8 million opening, $16 million overall)

Oculus ($12 million opening, $28 million overall)

The Quiet Ones ($4 million opening, $9 million overall)

Deliver Us From Evil ($10 million opening,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

First TV spot for The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle

Ahead of its release next month, Warner Bros. Pictures has dropped the first TV spot for The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle, and we’ve got it for you below after the official synopsis…

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long.

On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.

Annabelle is directed by John R. Leonetti (The Butterfly Effect 2) and stars Annabelle Wallis (Fleming), Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave), Brian Howe (The Pursuit of Happyness), Eric Ladlin (Boardwalk Empire
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

New images from The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle

Yesterday we brought you the new trailer for Annabelle, the spin-off to low budget horror smash The Conjuring, which features on the creepy doll that terrified audiences. The movie is directed by John R. Leonetti (The Butterfly Effect 2) with a cast that includes Annabelle Wallis (Fleming), Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave), Brian Howe (The Pursuit of Happyness), Eric Ladlin (Boardwalk Empire) and Ward Horton (The Wolf of Wall Street).

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long.

On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

That creepy 'Conjuring' doll gets her close-up in new 'Annabelle' trailer

  • Hitfix
That creepy 'Conjuring' doll gets her close-up in new 'Annabelle' trailer
Remember that creepy little doll at the beginning of "The Conjuring"? Well, it's time to get to know her a little better. The first teaser for the period horror spin-off "Annabelle" examines the persuasive doll's "life" before the events in "The Conjuring." It's unknown if the film will lead directly into the beginning of "The Conjuring," in which Annabelle appeared alongside Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Produced by James Wan and directed by John R. Leonetti, "Annabelle" stars Annabelle Wallis (no relation to the doll), Ward Horton and Alfre Woodard. Leonetti was the cinematographer on "The Conjuring" as well as the "Insidious" films, although his filmography as a director -- which includes "The Butterfly Effect 2" and "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" -- doesn't exactly inspire confidence.  Still, the teaser has the requisite chills and the doll herself is still just about the creepiest
See full article at Hitfix »

Annabelle, The Conjuring spin-off, gets an October release date

The Conjuring was a huge hit last year with both horror and mainstream fans. But many felt that the marketing, which was focused on Annabelle the cursed doll, led them to believe they were going to see a different movie. Well, it looks like Annabelle’s time to shine is upon us and Warner Bros. have announced a release date of October 3rd.

Annabelle’s existence in The Conjuring is based on the true events of the Annabelle doll, a Raggedy Ann that was bought from a hobby shop and was known for leaving notes on parchment when there was no parchment around. The doll was also claimed to have attacked various people. The Conjuring director James Wan decided however to used a more sinister porcelain doll for their version of the doll.

Sitting in the director’s chair for the spin-off will be John R. Leonetti, who worked as
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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