Film Review: Lifeless Doll Horror ‘Annabelle’ Taking Up Shelf Space

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The opening text to “Annabelle” comically clues its audience into the significance of dolls - beloved child play things, and/or vessels for evil spirits, whatever floats your boat. This spin-off of the mute toy from “The Conjuring” (as later made love to intensely by Marlon Wayans in “A Haunted House 2”) presents a different usage as well, that of taking up shelf space. Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Like second-class beers from booze conglomerates or some Adam Sandler movies, “Annabelle” is most of a dibs on marquee room by the “Conjuring” franchise, the sleeper hit in 2013 not just a sequel but also a restless ongoing lawsuit concerning ownership to its not-so-true story. All of this achieved without the main force of evil, a doll, having to lift a finger. Or, blinking.

Echoing the story of “The Conjuring” in set-up, this spin-off/prequel picks a family from an early 1970s PSA on how to be boring and places them into a tale of terror in the era of Charles Manson’s Helter Skelter. Wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (Ward Horton) are preparing to welcome their new baby into their quiet suburb home. These plans are complicated when the two are attacked in their home by wacko occult members one night, which causes distress to Mia’s pregnancy, and some occultist blood to get in the eye of her beloved Annabelle doll, a gift from her husband. Supernatural shenanigans soon ensue leading up to the baby’s birth, even though Annabelle gets trash-canned for being in the arms of one of the occultists when she died.

After a sudden fire in their home, the new unit of three moves to a high rise in the city where the doll finds its way into a moving box, and Mia essentially forgets her initial anxiety about its horrific significance. With John off to work to do doctor stuff, Mia ends up confronting different freaky weirdness, experiencing ruthless anxiety concerning her safety and the devil’s desire for her baby’s soul.

“Annabelle” opens on October 3rd. Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, and Tony Amendola. Written by Gary Dauberman. Directed by John R. Leonetti. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “Annabelle”

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “Annabelle”

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