ANNABELLE | MOVIE REVIEW

Remember THE CONJURING from 2013? Remember the scary ass doll from hell that made you poop da pants? Well……the bitch is back. I stupidly RSVPd to a dozen screenings while I was away and did it without a calendar – just happened to RSVP to five screenings on two days and disappointingly missed quite a few. Lucky for you all, horror freak Kernel Andrew stepped in to analyze the psycho dolly. ANNABELLE is out tomorrow Thursday 2nd October thanks to Roadshow Films, it is rated MA15+ and runs for 99mins. Enjoy Andrew’s review below…….all the best……….JK.

 

ANNABELLE MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
ANNABELLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV

James Wan’s THE CONJURING reinvigorated the horror genre upon its release. The movie was a hark back to the good old days of scare (not gore) horror. Although the plot was fairly pap it also delivered a solid frightener that stood head and shoulders above most “scary movies” (MAMA being the other fantastic exception). When it was announced that there would be not one but three spin off movies (there is always a bunch these days isn’t there?) I was a little apprehensive and dubious. Remember what happened to the genius FRIDAY THE 13TH with it’s subsequent sequels? I was a bit apprehensive to attend the review screening but also curious as to how a new director John R. Leonetti would direct and follow up such a solid entry in the horror canon.

ANNABELLE is based on a true story that was also investigated by Ed and Lorrain Warren (the paranormal investigators from THE CONJURING). If you are curious the case of Annabelle is covered in their book “Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorrain Warren” by Gerard Brittle. As previously mentioned Leonetti directs this particular outing based on a script written by Gary Dauberman. James Wan and Peter Safran are attached as producers (read how we got the money – we mentioned Wan’s name).

 

ANNABELLE MOVIE IMAGE
ANNABELLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MIA (ANNABELLE WALLIS) – IS IT ODD THE ACTRESSES REAL NAME IS ANNABELLE – SPOOKY 🙂

 

ANNABELLE tells the story of newly married couple John and Mia Gordon (Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton). John is busy establishing himself as a resident doctor and Mia, the dutiful wife, is heavily pregnant expecting the birth of their first child. They live in an idyllic neighbourhood in California and everything seems charming and comfortable. So much so that nobody locks their doors at night, everyone goes to Church on Sundays and the neighbours are all friends.

John has found the perfect gift for both Mia and their unborn child. It is a rare vintage doll that Mia has been looking for. This Annabelle, seen in THE CONJURING, a beautiful and rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. The idyllic peace of the neighbourhood is shattered one night when their neighbours, a husband and wife, are brutally murdered in a home invasion by a crazed man and woman. When John goes to investigate the invaders move to their home and assault Mia. Before the police arrive and shoot the assailants dead spilled blood and terror are not all that is left behind. It seems that the home invaders were members of a satanic cult (of course they are). Before being gunned down the crazed woman manages to seize the Annabelle doll, paint a strange symbol on the nursery wall and die cradling the doll in her arms (good effort I have to say).

 

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ANNABELLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MIA (ANNABELLE WALLIS), JOHN (WARD HORTON), FATHER PEREZ (TONY AMENDOLA) AND THE BLOODY SPAWN OF SATAN

 

It is from this point onward that strange things begin to occur in the Gordon household. Now having given birth and still bed ridden from the attacks, Mia begins to hear and see strange events around the house. Knocking, whispers, appliances switching on and off occur with ever growing frequency. None of this can be explained away easily, especially when John begins to see and hear these as well. The events seem to be escalating getting more and more strange and violent. Apparitions of a little girl begin appearing around the house (only to Mia). It all comes to a head …………….. and I will leave the rest for you to discover.

What follows is pretty standard possession stuff. Those that have watched a lot of horror will not be surprised by any of the proceedings. I don’t want to go much more into the story because either you are interested in these kinds of movies and know what will happen. You know the family will realise they are being haunted by a demon, the demon wants a soul and they need to see a priest in this case Father Perez played by Tony Amendola to help them expunge the demon after a titanic penultimate scene. Or you won’t care a lick as you hate these kinds of films.

 

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ANNABELLE | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CREEPY ASS DOLL FROM HELL

 

There are some genuinely good frights in this movie, one particularly good scene when Mia goes down to a dark basement (what are you doing girl?) and the lift refuses to move from the basement floor despite repeated button presses and door closes. Adding to the frights is a solid soundtrack which gives this movie a good sense of tension. At one point I closed my eyes and listened to the auditory cues, Joseph Bishara should be given credit for the music.

All in all it is just a slightly better than average horror movie. It does not leave me with the sense of what this particular “universe” nor the mind of James Wan is capable of (he is a star of horror I reckon).

I am hoping they do better on the next two instalments and this does not turn into one of those and-the-doll-never-dies-kind-of-things.

 

3 Pops