Director: John R. Leonetti
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard
Halloween season continues with a review of The Conjuring’s little plastic sister, Annabelle.
Remember that creepy doll at the beginning of The Conjuring? They have now made a feature length horror movie about the Annabelle doll’s backstory … because we were all wondering how she became quite so dishevelled.
Annabelle follows the origin story of a spooky doll which becomes possessed shortly after Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John Gordon’s (Ward Horton) home is invaded by members of a Charles Manson-esque satanic cult. They start to experience alarming ghostly phenomena involving the vintage doll and the devil himself at one point.
The problem is that Annabelle’s scares ultimately fall very flat. This is not a scary movie. If you really want to be scared this Halloween, stick to the classics or go and see The Babadook instead.
He wants her soul!
Another fundamental flaw with John R. Leonetti’s film is that it resembles the classic Child’s Play (a.k.a Chucky) far too much. Once that pops up in your head, it’s difficult to shake off the feeling that Annabelle is nothing more than just an inferior version of the 1988 scary doll flick.
The plot plods along and gives that ‘written-by-committee’ vibe which so many horror films have nowadays. Both the scares and the plot are incredibly predictable and the ending was almost laughable. Leonetti and co decided to opt for the over-the-top finale which has become another one of those modern horror tropes, along with loud bangs, mysterious moving objects and screaming women in white night gowns.
Annabelle does have it’s moments, notably a disturbing scene involving a malfunctioning lift and a horned devil-like demon, which will make you jump slightly, but ultimately even that scene opts for the ludicrous rather than the scary. It was however, made on a small budget; it cost an estimated $6.5 million to make and will make that back, especially since it’s being released around Halloween. It will also be riding on the coattails of The Conjuring, which will help it make some money back, despite it not being anywhere as good as James Wan’s original.
Annabelle is very ordinary and unusually boring.