We continue our countdown to Halloween with our review of Annabelle, featuring everyone’s favourite scary doll from The Conjuring. Annabelle review after the jump.
Last year saw the release of The Conjuring – a scary movie from James Wan; the man behind Insidious and Saw. Arguably the best horror of 2013, The Conjuring hit the right scares in all the right places and, even though she featured very little, the Annabelle doll was something of a talking point and was very memorable.
Now, in a prequel/spin off, we get a movie based entirely around Annabelle and it will most likely be the biggest horror movie of 2014. A young and expecting couple, Mia and John, are happily looking forward to having a new addition in the house. As well as creating clothes on her sewing machine, Mia is also an avid doll collector and is over-the-moon when her husband brings her a creepy-looking porcelain doll – one that she had been searching years for.
One night, things take a turn for the worse when their next door neighbours are murdered by their Satanist daughter and her boyfriend. They then attack Mia and John, only for the boyfriend to be killed by the police. The estranged cultist daughter commits suicide but places a curse on the doll first.
Mia and John move house once their baby daughter arrives but, as with all films like this, supernatural occurrences start happening and the lives of the family are put in danger.
Like Insidious and The Conjuring, Annabelle knows when to add scares and when to freak out the audiences. Jump scares are included and director John Leonetti knows when to turn up the volume on the eerie orchestral score.
Annabelle can be rather slow-burning at times, but there are a few scenes that will make you feel uncomfortable and, well, rather scared. Look out for the scene when Mia is in the basement of her apartment block and for the scene when the Annabelle doll not only stands up, but starts to levitate. Creepy is not the word.
Annabelle is a well-made horror yarn and will likely be the most memorable of the year although the scares are few. In the end though, this will tide horror fans over until next year, when we get both The Conjuring 2 and Insidious 3.