Archive Review: Annabelle (2014)

The Conjuring movies were a massive hit, so naturally we now have a bunch of average spinoffs to attempt to ‘flesh out’ the universe.  They will never be as good as the originals.

Certificate: 15

Director: John R. Leonetti

Screenwriter: Gary Dauberman

Starring: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard

Genre: Horror Mystery

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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. – From IMDB

The Conjuring films are two of my favourite horror films of the last ten years.  However, the spinoff films, the ‘Annabelles’ and ‘The Nun’ are among some of the most disappointing.  We get it.  The doll is creepy, people really fixated on it when it was in the main franchise,  but did it need it’s own film?  Or franchise of films at this point? No. Not really.  Giving Annabelle a shockingly average origin story like this one, goes a long way to destroying to scary atmosphere around the doll in the first place.  By the end of this film, you wont care that much about the doll at all.  You will just be happy it’s over.

Firstly, the film takes a long time for anything really sinister to happen.  There are a lot of tense moments, and spooky music, but nothing really happens.  There is the one frantic rush when the cult attack the house, but then it goes back to being a bit slow until about the last thirty minutes or so when everything seems to really kick off.  I am all for slow build in a horror film, but this one took way too long.

This film has just about every horror trope that you can name, and each of them are a bit tired by now, with Annabelle bringing nothing new to the table.  The jump scares are telegraphed way in advance helped even more by the slowly building music.  What this film does do well is make use of the good old, something creepy happening in the background of a wide shot, trope.  This happens plenty here and is probably where most of the scares come from in this film.  The rest is just generic.

If movies about creepy dolls are your jam, and you aren’t too fussed about your horror movies rehashing old ground, then you will probably like this one as well.  But if you are in the same boat as a lot of us, that thinks that horror films are becoming much of the same over and over, then this is just more of that, and you will be rolling your eyes a lot. 

Annabelle is free to Stream on Netflix now

Amazon: £3.49 RENT/ £7.99 BUY

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