For those who have already watched The Conjuring, this new supernatural horror film Annabelle will look familiar evidently with the same idea of an evil doll and also the fact that it’s a prequel of last year’s The Conjuring. After watching the movie, I would say that filmmaker John R. Leonetti’s Annabelle is not as spine-chilling flick compared to James Wan’s The Conjuring.
The film starts with a message: “Since the beginning of civilization, dolls have been beloved by children, cherished by collectors and used in religious rites as conduits for good and evil.”
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Set in 1969, the film opens with the same exact shot from The Conjuring where two young women and a young man are narrating their experiences to paranormal investigator Ed and Lorraine Warren about a doll called Annabelle which they believed to have been possessed by a girl named Annabelle Higgins.
Well, just to mention here, the doll was not fully exposed in the previous film; probably, this is the reason director James Wan turns to produce Annabelle. However, as far as the film is concerned, there is no such originality left; but of course, one may like to watch this to know the origin of this haunted doll.
Moving forward in the story, the film introduces the couple – John and Mia, who are expecting their first child. Amid excitement and happiness in their life, John presents Mia a doll that she has been trying to get for long. At night, Mia hears the screaming of a neighbor and wakes John up to check their neighbor’s house.
When Mia returns home to call the cops, she is attacked by a woman holding the doll and a man. Soon cops arrive with John and kill the man while the lady runs to a nearby room and commits suicide by slitting her throat. Later a news report reveals that the deceased assailants were Annabelle Higgins and her boyfriend. They were up to some satanic ritual.
Now, the doll in Mia’s house is possessed by the spirit of Annabelle Higgins who in order to complete the ritual needs a soul as an offering to summon a demon. For the sacrifice, it has chosen Mia’s daughter. In order to save their child, Mia and John must find a way to face the evil supernatural being.
Other than the not-so-impressive storytelling, Annabelle never comes out of the clichés of horror movies. In most cases, you realize that it’s a mixture of many things that we already have watched in numerous other horror movies. Probably, this is the fact that the makers resort to cheap jump-scare moments with ear-piercing sound.
Nevertheless, I liked the performance of Annabelle Wallis who plays a distressed pregnant woman and then a mother trying to save her daughter from evil. Lastly, I expected more from the duo John R. Leonetti and James Wan who have created some finest films such as Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, Dead Silence, and of course The Conjuring. In all these three films Leonetti was the cinematographer while James Wan was the director.
Annabelle (2014) – A supernatural horror film directed by John R. Leonetti, written by Gary Dauberman. This is a prequel to 2013’s The Conjuring.
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Tony Amendola, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley
Directed by John R. Leonetti
Written by Gary Dauberman
Music by Joseph Bishara
Cinematography by James Kniest
Release Date/Year: October 3, 2014
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