Movie Review: Annabelle

Annabelle, a possessed vintage doll. (Photo courtesy of dreadcentral.com)

“Annabelle”: “The Conjuring”’s Clumsy Little Brother

by Mike Reistetter

If you plan to see this at night, you will most likely be brought to sleep by the dull, sparkless dialogue carried on between the characters for the majority of the film.

“Annabelle” served as both a prequel and a sequel to “The Conjuring.” Alas, you must not view this film with any expectation that it would outperform its predecessor. With a similar premise, and even a plot revolved around the same possessed doll, the titular “Annabelle” lacked in script depth and had a poor balance between horror and filler scenes. Most of the theater could tell when a scary scene was about to take place. Granted, with musical scores, this can be apparent in most horror films. But the anticipation for said “scary” scenes ultimately proved more primitive than the scenes themselves.

With regards to casting, the scouts ironically chose an actress named Annabelle to play the female lead, who became the owner of the possessed doll named Annabelle. A newlywed with an infant baby, her unwillingness to give up her clearly creepy doll collection sealed the string of traumatic events she would inevitably face during the course of the film. Casting Annabelle Wallis as Mia Gordon was like casting the Cookie Monster as an advocate for Gluten-Free products. Pegged as destined for the role, she seemed to come across as a bit too convincing to be true, and the overacting display of emotions took away from the intended integrity of her character.

Its predecessor, “The Conjuring,” seemed more believable because of factors like its lead characters, the married couple “The Warrens.” Their humility, stability, and practical approach to offering scientific evidence of demonic spirits helped profusely entertain viewers. They appeared briefly in the introduction scene of this follow-up, but their exclusion from the remainder of the film allocates emphasis of the plot to the non-professionals who cannot be taken seriously for believing in the occult or any other supernatural forces.

“Annabelle” will scare you, but for the wrong reasons. Look to the future for the true sequel to the film “The Conjuring,” planned for release in 2016. Hopefully some familiar faces among the on-screen and off-screen staff can correct the sheer crime committed in this low-budgeted disappointment.