By Reland Tuomi, Editor-in-Chief
On the heels of 2013’s horror hit “The Conjuring,” you’d think its prequel, “Annabelle,” will legitimately scare you, but you’d be dead wrong.
The prequel follows a young couple, Mia and John, and their relationship with the creepy doll, Annabelle, from “The Conjuring.” Annabelle didn’t play a significant role to the plot in the first movie, so it makes sense to have an origin story for her.
Mia is pregnant and has a vast doll collection, while John is in his residency at a local hospital. They are attacked in their home by the neighbors’ daughter and her boyfriend, who are soon shot down by the police. The neighbors’ daughter dies in the nursery holding the Annabelle doll. Ever since, scary events happen to Mia and John, even after they move.
The film runs much like a typical demon/possession horror movie. There are some good jump scares, but other than that it’s pretty predictable: girl gets scared, demon wants a soul, husband and baby only show up when it’s convenient, doll continues to be terrifying and you keep asking why doll collecting is a thing, blah blah blah.
One of my biggest pet-peeves in this film is the demon itself. Warning: here come spoilers.
One of the things about demon and possession movies is the demon is never or barely seen. This adds to the mystery, and therefore the fear.
In “Annabelle,” you only see the demon’s hand at first, which is great, because it adds to the fear. But then we see it, full body and face. I laughed out loud, it looked ridiculous.
There is one light at the end of the Annabelle tunnel, though: there will be a sequel to “The Conjuring” in 2016 directed by James Wan, who directed the first film and co-produced “Annabelle,” according to Deadline.
Overall, this is a fun, memorable movie. You’ll get scared and tense, but easily shake it off in the next scene.
3.5 out of 5 stars. ◼︎