‘Annabelle’ Movie Review


The new horror film “Annabelle” has movie goers hooked and interested. “The Conjuring”, released in 2013, is a prequel to the movie “Annabelle”. In the ending scene of The Conjuring, an elderly woman is seen gawking over a Victorian porcelain doll. This scene appears to be significant as an entire 2 minutes is dedicated to it right before the pre-opening credits sequence. This scene left viewers in suspense and confusion.

Movie goers finally get their questions answered with the sequel movie “Annabelle”, in which the significance of the doll is explained. “Before The Conjuring, there was Annabelle,” is a phrase located on the bottom of Annabelle’s poster advertisement and trailers.

The story begins by showing a gargoyle with horns being zoomed out on in a church. This gothic element preludes to the main idea of the movie: something demonic is going to take place. Mia and her husband John- the main characters- are in their Santa Monica home when they overhear a scream from the neighboring house.

Before long, deranged intruders covered in blood burst in and violently attack the couple. Through investigation, it is discovered that these intruders were a part of a satanic cult. Although the couple survives, Mia soon begins to suspect that evil forces have followed them to their new Pasadena residence.

John, Mia’s husband, attempts to rid of the new doll he purchased for Mia’s extensive doll collection, as its presence seems to bring about trouble. The doll initially is nothing but an object until blood from one of the intruders seeps into its eye socket. The doll refuses to leave alone the married couple and tries to steal away their baby’s soul.

In one climatic scene, the evil force inside the doll locks Mia in a room while her baby is in another room. Mia quickly flops to the floor to see her baby girl, and finds that the evil energy is trying to throw books onto the baby’s head. Mia screams out of anger and suddenly the demented Victorian doll falls into her view with a smile. Following this scene, the evil force shows its identity and the viewers come to realize that it is the spirit that was in the body of the woman who killed herself and had her blood seep into the dolls eye socket.

An unfortunate event occurs in which Mia experiences hallucinations and almost attempts suicide. The evil spirit wanted an innocent soul, which explains why it originally wanted Leah, the newborn child. It comprises and tries to tell Mia that her soul will do just fine and it will return her baby.

As she is about to jump out off the balcony, Evelyn- a lady from the church- and John burst into the room assuring her it’s okay to step down. Evelyn grabs the doll, and says that she will take her own life for the sake of the family. She jumps while holding onto the doll, and a pool of blood is shown around her body.

The movie overall has a vintage touch to it. Mia, the protagonist played by Annabelle Wallis, and her husband, John, played by Ward Horton, are consistently shown wearing a faded out color pallets. While at home, Mia watches soap operas through a box television with antennas. The shows are in black and white. The radio inside the car of Father Perez, played by Tony Amendola, is controlled by manual dials and is not preset controls.

Another element that conveys a sense of ‘older times’ is when Mia rushes to the kitchen to make a phone call, and uses a landline phone that has a swirly cord instead of using a wireless one. By adding subtle vintage touches, an extra scare factor is embedded into the movie by showing the limitation of technology that the characters had handy.

The cinematography employs camera angles that enable you to see the perspective of the tormented victim, which is mostly Mia. This adds a spooky factor because as Mia, because viewers do not know what will happen next. The editing in the film is excellent and is paired with crescendo music which makes each moment even more climatic. The jumps and scares in this movie were expected but still effective in delivering a scare.

One may experience a sense of déjà vu while watching Annabelle. This movie owes its ideas and concepts to a film previously made called “Rosemary’s Baby”. In both movies, an expectant mother increasingly comes to believe that evil forces are pursuing her unborn child.

Overall, this movie is sure to startle the average moviegoer, but may annoy horror movie fanatics with its similar components to “Rosemary’s Baby” and expected jumps and scares. In addition, the original “Annabelle” is a ragdoll, and not a Victorian porcelain doll.