Director: John R Leonetti
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola, Eric Ladin
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Age Rating: 15/R
Running Time: 99 minutes
For some reason we just keep letting the girls have their way with the Sunday night film choice! Do my dad and I subconsciously like being scared, or is it just our one excuse to hide behind our other halves while they chuckle away at a sadistic film? The bottom line is that this Sunday just gone it was time for the horror film ANNABELLE, the loosely accredited prequel to THE CONJURING, and I have to say it did its job for the majority of us!
ANNABELLE tells the story of John and Mia Gordon who live in a perfectly normal neighbourhood and are expecting a baby. Lovely right? Wrong! Mia has a strange obsession with rare, vintage (and outright hideous!) dolls, and John brings back a supposedly beautiful find for his wife one day, which becomes pride of place in the baby’s room. The first night that this doll graces the Gordons’ house, chaos breaks out next door where their neighbours are slaughtered by two members of a satanic cult who end up violently attacking the Gordons in their home and stabbing Mia in the stomach.
Following the premature birth of their daughter, the spilled blood and terror left in their home was not all that had been left behind. It appears the cultists have conjured an entity which now lives in the doll and is hungry to feed on the souls of the Gordons’ residence, whoever that may be.
From here onwards a key part of any decent horror film comes into play, the music from Joseph Bishara which has a very classic horror feel about it. It builds tension throughout and constantly tricks you into believing that something is about to jump out at you, and then just when you settle, something takes you by surprise.
Annabelle Willis and Ward Horton are decent in their roles, but other than learning their lines and acting scared, there is not much else they add to this feature. The story of ANNABELLE is good but not incredible, and unfortunately I may need to re-visit THE CONJURING to fully compare it against its supposed sequel.
Overall, ANNABELLE did its job! It got myself, my dad and my girlfriend (but she’ll never admit it) hiding behind our cushions, while my mum, the horror junkie, watched us cowering away, mildly impressed by the film. It is not frightening to the point where it will stick in your mind for the next week or so, but it will definitely make you throw away all those strange dolls lying around your house!
Recommendation: A decent horror film which certainly makes you jump in parts, but not too scarring for the precious minds (like mine) out there! Worth a Sky Movies record or Netflix/Amazon Instant Video watch. Maybe a Buy or Rent if you are a big horror fan.