Annabelle  (2014)    56/100

Rating :   56/100                                                                       99 Min        15

If your average human were to pick up the main character Mia in this film (played by Annabelle Wallis {no joke}) they may be forgiven for thinking ‘whoa, she is absolutely gorgeous it must be my lucky day! But wait, what am I missing? It can’t be this easy, I must be missing something here. Oh, that’s it, she collects creepy fucking dolls. Great. Next thing I know she’ll be sleeping with one of them between us and calling it mommy. Time to leave a note on a pillow I think …’. The husband here, unfathomably, actually encourages her obsession and even sources one of the super scary porcelain little misses as a present. What. An. Idiot. He really was asking for trouble there – of course the doll he so dotingly gives her is ‘Annabelle’, soon to be possessed by demonic spirits after the local version of the Manson family invade the couple’s neighbourhood and cause all manner of gory mayhem, leaving the young Mia with numerous psychological and emotional scars as well as an anthropomorphic satanic doll.

Speaking of which, did anyone ever read the comic ‘The Doll’? Now that was scary. This is distinctly less so, in fact there is very, very little in terms of the doll actually being personified, it’s mainly just lots of bad things happening around it – the worry may have been crossing into farce if the thing starting running around the place smirking and sticking crucifixes between its legs. As par for horror films many of the secondary characters are hopeless but there are a few well executed and tense scenes in here and Wallis is fine as the damsel in distress – a major pitfall though is the disturbing level of violence at times employed, as if writer Gary Dauberman had thought to himself ‘OK, what’s one of the most sickening things you can imagine happening …’, but really this kind of writing is rudimentary and it’s not something anyone really wants to witness for a good reason. At least the film doesn’t continually go there, à la the likes of ‘Hostel’ (05) and its brethren.

The story is also one of the canon belonging to the two paranormal investigators featured in ‘The Conjuring‘ – alas marketing ‘Annabelle’ with this connection was a bit of false advertising as the pair don’t really feature in the film itself.

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