Sunday, January 3, 2016

Movie Review: ANNABELLE

Back in 2013, one of the best horror films that I've ever seen hit theaters, and that film was The Conjuring.  So when I heard that a spinoff movie about the creepy doll from the beginning of that film was being made, I got really excited.
Enter Annabelle.  Set in 1969, 2 years before the events of The Conjuring, this film follows John and Mia Form, expecting parents from Santa Monica, who, after a horrific, traumatizing experience, realize that something otherworldly is terrorizing their little family.

This film was directed by John R. Leonetti, best known for directing Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and The Butterfly Effect 2.  This should've been the first red flag.  The second would be that it was written by Gary Dauberman, who had previously wrote a string of bad sci-fi/horror films including In The Spider's Web, Bloodmonkey, and Swamp Devil.  This is also Leonetti's first time directing anything since 2006 and Dauberman's first time writing anything since 2008.

We also saw a rather unknown cast of mainly TV stars lead this film.  The two main characters, John and Mia, were played by Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis.  To be honest, I had no idea who they were.  The only person in the film that I really knew was Tony Amendola (Continuum, Once Upon A Time) who plays Father Perez, the priest who tries to help the couple get rid of the evil plaguing them.

A cast of no-names isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.  Sometimes it can help you from being pulled out of the film.  You see these people as their characters and not as the actors portraying them.  But these actors, or at least most of them, just didn't convince me to care for them.  Their development was weak, and their performances were lacking.

The other big issues I had with this film was that, other than the doll and a quick reference to the Warrens, this film felt nothing like The Conjuring.  It relied on poorly done jump scares and a creature that would've been better off not being shown.  The opening of the film was probably the creepiest part, and it all went down hill from there.

I am definitely looking forward to The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist coming out this June, but as for the Annabelle sequel currently in the works, I'll pass. 

The Merc's Score: 4.5/10

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