Nobody watched The Conjuring and thought, “There’s no way they’ll make a film out of that”. This sinister smiling monster was set up for the inevitable and as anticipated, everyone flocked in the belief it must be good if an extreme close up of a menacing wooden smile was enough to scare you. Did anybody think the premise given from The Conjuring was intriguing enough? Actually, I’ll rephrase that: Did anybody think watching a doll for 90 minutes was a promising idea for a night out?
Annabelle is barebones repetitive and just as hollow as the doll itself. The essence of what this film could have been was captured in a horrifying long shot that composes the harrowing murder of the neighbours next. For some that sounds like a paradise, but for the Form family, it leaves them with a curse upon their cherished family doll, Annabelle. There’s no pivotal connection between the doll and the murders other than their psychotic attempt to ritualise demons (only in America). The film doesn’t attempt to justify any of these opening events rather than establish ritalises, demons and a need to accentuate a metaphorical visual to carry the rest of the film. Somehow the blood of the sect member is the catalyst to Annabelle’s demonic transformation.
There’s really nothing of interest to say other than to highlight the redundant and tedious storytelling that happens here. Each night the mother is alone, something bad happens – the doll moves, the floorboards creek, but at least the demon is polite enough to cook the hunger-craving mother popcorn. It’s forgettable tripe with no inspiration. There is a painfully obvious nature to every set up and we’ve seen all the visual tricks before to know what happens. It rips off James Wan-directed films, Japanese horror, every possession movie of the last 5 years, and even manages to rip of the film that inspired it. It lacks a moral code of honour to its enticing appeal in The Conjuring.
It simply doesn’t work. There are just as many scares as there are moments of Annabelle, very few. I’m not a parent, but from a realist point of view, who would want to purchase anything that’s this monstrous to begin with? Should have just bought a cat, that’s ironically less hassle.