Annabelle is the prequel to the horror film The Conjuring and is directed by John R. Leonetti. It tells the story of a husband and wife who are expecting their first child and all seems perfect until one night when a couple of Satanic cultists invade their home, but are quickly brought down by the police. But not before one of the Satanists pours their blood into the doll of Annabelle. Life soon resumes to normality for the couple but all hell breaks loose as the spirit of the Satanist terrorises and torments the mother through the doll.
First and foremost it is almost impossible to not relate the film to Chucky, what with the doll being a vessel for the spirit of a murderer. However Annabelle is a highly unoriginal film, with highly unoriginal visuals. The main problem with the film is that it lacks any suspense. The key to making a convincing horror film is to build suspense for suspense is what has us frightened of what is going to happen next. [Annabelle](movie:1217914) lacks such suspense and this mainly due to the unbelievable amount of predictability in the film. It is always obvious when something 'scary' is supposed to happen, and even worse you can guess what kind of scare you're going to get. The scene that should have been the scariest was the complete opposite due to the predictability of it. When the doll begins to rise from the floor and float in mid air, it is obvious as to what is going to happen next.
The actors in the film are relatively unknown and they play their parts well enough to get by. The main problem was that you really don't care for them. With next to no character development, they seem incredibly two dimensional as you don't really develop any emotional attachment to the characters hence why you couldn't care less for what happens to them. I will give the script props for one bit in particular which widened my eyes for a second. The demon is harassing the mother and she runs to the baby's bedroom and finds the doll lying in the cot rather than the baby. Angered she begins to smash the doll on the side of the cot and it is here that you realise that the doll is in the fact the child. It was pleasing to finally see some genuine animosity from the demon, however it backed out and it turned out she was in fact smashing the doll. The film sort of came off as trying too hard to be something like The Conjuring with similar shots, especially the one where we meet the demon, and similar visuals. Instead it should have attempted to look different or just try to be its own movie.
With an unoriginal plot and characters you really couldn't care less about, Annabelle is a pretty poor horror film or just film in general. With a lack of suspense and an incredible amount of predictability and only one scene with a single instance of surprise and shock, overall I give the film a 2 out of 5.
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