Movie Review: Annabelle

The first spin-off from one of our previous movies, Annabelle, is also the first movie in the series (which is currently only two movies: Annabelle, and the prequel, Annabelle: Creation). My humorous description of the movie is as follows:

After a crazy cult murders their neighbors, the doll they thought they threw away comes back… with a demonic vengeance.

Seriously, it’s a movie about a couple who have in their possession a doll possessed by a villain from a cult and/or a demon. The movie is a little unclear on that at first: it seems to indicate that the cult woman possessed the doll at first, but later… well this is beyond just a ghost.

The movie manages to avoid being entirely goofy by not having the doll talk. Talking dolls are always funny-horror (Chucky), never scary-horror. Another thing I have to say in its favor: the husband doesn’t do the stupid “I don’t believe in the supernatural” thing even when presented with evidence of it; several horror movies have this, usually on the part of the husband or boyfriend. Given that the movie is set in the 1960s, the husband is pretty responsive.

The horror builds pretty clearly, but it starts out starkly awful with something that no one has to suspend any belief for: a murderous set of cult members breaking into a house. Whether you believe in demons, or ghosts, or not: everyone can believe in crazy cultists. From that point there isn’t too long of a wait before other bad stuff starts happening, which can be nice: some movies drag their feet. This one does not, and I liked that.

To me the weirdest part of the entire movie is why anyone would ever want that doll. It isn’t in any way appealing to look at.

All in all, this is a pretty good horror movie but it was not my favorite, not even of the first four. That honor goes to the Conjuring. I’ve still watched this one more than once, which is pretty high praise in and of itself. It doesn’t quite creep me out like others do, though.

Report Card:
Running Time: An hour thirty-nine.
Acting: Pretty decent.
Effects: Sparse but good.
Violence: A bit, especially at the start and end.
Gun Use: Just a little, nothing unrealistic.
Gore: Not really.
Creepy? Nothing is creepier than the idea that someone would want that doll.
Monster Type? A demon doll.
Funny? No.
Nudity: None.
Pacing: Decent, pretty constantly hitting.

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