Annabelle ★★☆☆☆ | Chucky's big sister tumbles from the shelf.
Sharing the same opening scene as it's processor, John.R.Leonetti's prequel to James Wan's 2013 horror hit, The Conjuring, has had some trouble appearing from behind it's bigger brothers shadow. Leaning purely against it's premeditated release around fright night fans favourite time of year, Annabelle will most likely supply the moderate thrills and annoying lurches from your seat when the Jack-o'-lanterns glow orange, before nestling itself into the Halloween box for next year.
From James Wan's production chair comes another attempt to weave your heart strings around innocent characters, Mia and John Gordon, a 1969 American couple starting the build of their picket fence life. With the expected arrival of their first baby, John presents Mia with an eerie plush doll to add to her collection, a counterintuitive present that starts the spiral of unsettling to tormenting incidents surrounding the thriving family.
Personally, if I was gifted an abnormally sized doll with the Mona Lisa stare, I would be more inclined to use it for my Guy Fawkes party in the back garden. So, going along with Mia's ignorance towards paranormal cliche's, I plodded along with the story of "Annabelle" judging when to look away by the acceleration of music towards past time scare tactics and slugging my shoulders at the lack originality. Bit TV and film actors, Wade Horton and Annabelle Wallis, team up to make a convincing, devoted couple using their comfortable acting abilities to carry their characters struggles through the laborious task of tackling evil on their doorstep.
Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave a thumbs down with a rating of 31% after it's premier at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The site concluded "Annabelle borrows unabashedly from better horror films, content to leave viewers with a string of cheap jolts that fail to build on the far more effective The Conjuring."
Apart from the refreshing trip to the cinema for an adrenaline kick whilst taking part in people's bizarre fascination with fictional and terrifying harassment, Annabelle becomes an insignificant but satisfactory thrill, leaving nothing but hand cramp after positioning your hand at 'eye covering' length for the entire feature.
Annabelle is in cinema's now.
Watch the trailer below and see what you think!