So I (reluctantly) went to watch Annabelle…
I was looking forward to this movie for a while – I really enjoyed The Conjuring and good horror movies are so rare; so I definitely walked into this one with high expectations.
Okay so basic plot: Annabelle is this creepy ass doll that already looks satanic before it’s even possessed. It gets possessed by a demon who uses it as a conduit to collect souls and make me scream like a little girl.
This movie is frightening! It manages to tap into the style that made The Conjuring so scary by creating a general sense of dread throughout the entire movie. So even when things aren’t coming out of the dark, you’re still petrified because you know they’re around all the time.
The movie takes a bold and innovative step with its first horror set piece, I don’t want to spoil it but it begins by scaring you with reality before it gets to the supernatural. This was really refreshing because when you see someone creeping around a house in a horror movie you immediately think ghost instead of the, more ‘logical’, thought of an intruder.
Normally horror movies aren’t known for exceptional acting but Annabelle Wallis (yes, she has the same name as the doll – FREAKY) really nails her role as Mia – a new mother trying to protect her baby from a demon spirit. I was really impressed with her and hope to see more of her.
Alfre Woodard also makes a substantial contribution to the story as a neighbour who befriends Mia and tries to help her ward off the evil of the doll. I really felt like her character had more to offer and she was definitely underutilised.
Like I said, this movie is frightening and it takes its time creating a feeling of dread and chooses slow-burning fear over quick flashes of terror. I liked this but I felt like I was waiting for a more climatic end, an end that never seemed to materialise. The movie never quite delivers the knockout punch that you feel it’s being building up to.
References are made to The Conjuring but this movie is terrifying in its own right and the director does well to separate the two movies.
Overall, it’s scary and a good horror flick. It doesn’t quite manage to avoid the clichés of horror movies past and lacks a climatic set piece but it does enough to merit a trip to the cinema. I watched this movie alone but feel free to take someone whose hand you can squeeze. 5/10