In honor of Halloween coming up in a few short weeks, I’m reviewing one of the big horror movies of the season. Annabelle is supposed to be a prequel of sorts to last year’s wildly, yet unexpectedly, successful film, The Conjuring. Does it live up to the incredibly well-done and horrifying sequel? No. Not even a little bit. Unfortunately for me and all the other horror movie fans out there, there were maybe only one or two moments that were actually scary. The movie follows a family who are expecting a child and the doll the husband bought for his wife to complete her prized doll collection. If you haven’t seen a picture of this thing, see below. I’m not entirely sure how any person could think that this doll is anything other than creepy before it even turns evil, but I guess disbelief is suspended in a film like this. Anyway, as time goes on and an insane murder/suicide happens inside the house, the family notices weird things going on, such as chairs moving on their own, a sewing machine acting crazily, and the doll moving between different places all by itself. Initially thinking the house is haunted, the couple and their now-born child move to an apartment. Once they realize that the evil is not coming from the house, but from the doll, things ramp way up and people start getting hurt while trying to stop the evil within the doll.
The most disappointing thing, as mentioned above, is a lack of any good horror-inducing moments. There was one scene in an elevator with the mother that caused me to cover my eyes a bit, and a scene that pans to the ceiling while the demon seemingly comes from nowhere that caused one of my friends to jump. Aside from that, though, most of the scenes were pretty lackluster and overdone. The story itself is not really believable either. Not that most horror movies are credible to begin with, but the whole “one person sees something bad, the other person doesn’t believe the first, then finally they come together, realizing the evil is real and try to defeat it together by enlisting the help of none other than the neighborhood priest and other do-gooders in the area” trope is overdone.
Overall, Annabelle is not a mind-blowing entry into the horror franchise. Instead of spending your money on this, I would recommend seeing The Conjuring if you haven’t already. If you have, the Saw franchise is coming back into theaters later this month, and if you’re into the more gory/torture side of horror, the first few movies in that franchise may be more up your alley. The Ouija movie coming out also looks intriguing if you’re like me and the whole concept of the thing creeps you out to begin with. Annabelle wasn’t a bad film, per se, but if you’re going to see it in the near future, just be aware that there’s not a ton of enjoyment to be had when seeing this film. The fun that does come from the movie is more from the comedic value of how awful it is rather than feeling as though you can’t sleep at night because you’re too terrified.