Title – Annabelle (2014)
Director – John R. Leonetti (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Cast – Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard
Plot – Avid doll collector and new mum Mia (Wallis) starts to regret adding her newest addition to the collection after the doll seemingly becomes possessed by a murdering lunatic after a nasty home invasion.
“I like your dolls”
Review by Eddie on 19/02/2015
Living off the back of James Wan’s effective and well-constructed horror creeper The Conjuring which took the box office by storm in 2013, John R. Leonetti’s film centred around one of that films creepiest plot points of haunted doll Annabelle is an atrocious horror effort that looks to tick of every cliché in the horror book while portraying a wholly uninteresting story.
By now it is somewhat expected that most horror films play out to some sort of seen before plan but Annabelle does so little to distinguish itself from any other such title that after half an hour or so you’re wondering if anything or anyone will do something to save this film from the doldrums. In saying this one of the most shockingly scary elements to the film is just how effective its first 15 or so minutes are and for a while you’d be right in expecting the unexpected and enjoying Annabelle’s success. From this effective and terror laden opening act however things slide rapidly downhill into a shoddily edited and staged story that forgets to provide either the chills, thrills or scares to even stand in the same room as its fine parent film.
Calling this film Annabelle seems like a marketing ploy in false advertisement as after this promising beginning, Annabelle takes a back seat to haunted prams, evil bookshelves, Alfre Woodard looking for a pay check, possessed popcorn, societies of the Ram and various other insidious strands that all fail to scare or resonate. The filmmakers here clearly didn’t know how to make a 90 minute movie about a haunted doll and their subsequent ideas can’t really stand on their own from Annabelle Wallis’s troubled housewife and enthusiastic seamstress Mia and her doting husband John played by the frighteningly bland Ward Horton through to any of the side characters this is a film that needed some more interesting distractions if Annabelle herself was going to be such a half-baked and underutilised device.
If you’re looking for some scares why not just watch the Conjuring again as I’m positive even a re-watch of James Wan horror would provide more intrigue and chills than Annabelle could even dream of. A shoddy excuse of a cash in, let’s hope the second Conjuring journey is a whole league better than this nasty piece of trash, but then again what really did we expect from the director that bought us Mortal Combat: Annihilation?
1 evil bag of popcorn out of 5