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Movie Review: Annabelle

Updated on November 7, 2016

Annabelle: The Haunted Doll

Annabelle was released in 2014 and it's somewhat of a prequel to The Conjuring. Many elements of The Conjuring are in Annabelle.
Annabelle was released in 2014 and it's somewhat of a prequel to The Conjuring. Many elements of The Conjuring are in Annabelle. | Source

Have You Watched It?

Have you seen the movie Annabelle?

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Story/Plot of Annabelle

An amazing and surprising plot to this film takes off right away. A couple is expecting a child and the husband gives his wife, Annabelle as a gift to complete her doll collection. A neighbor who is part of a cult kills her family and then tries to kill the couple next door expecting the baby. The police stop the massacre and kills the perpetrators. The occult gets into the doll. As the story unfolds, the doll burns the house up but, the couple not realizing what's at fault took the doll with them when they moved.

From then on the demon presence increased and the family finally realized there was a problem. At first, it started small but then, the dark force appeared in the storage area of the apartment complex.

The story is based on paranormal investigations made by Demonologist Ed and his wife Lorraine Warren who have had lots of films based on their research including: The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring and of course Annabelle.

Grade: A

The Original Annabelle

A Raggedy Ann doll was the subject of the Warrens investigations about Annabelle. The doll was changed for the film in order to show a more spooky looking doll.
A Raggedy Ann doll was the subject of the Warrens investigations about Annabelle. The doll was changed for the film in order to show a more spooky looking doll. | Source

Movies Based on The Warrens Investigations

The Conjuring
Annabelle
Haunting in Georgia
Amityville Horror
Haunting in Connecticut
The Haunted
 
In a Dark Place
 
 
 
 
Seven films about the investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Fear Factor

I would rank this in my top ten horror films ever especially when it comes to the fear factor. The film is loaded with jump scares and heart pounding scenes. A demon appears looking like a black image several times and even makes the doll move around and float which is freaky. The Priest becomes possessed and throughout the film you have to keep guessing what comes next. If your a fan or The Conjuring then this one is better. The black, shadows that were in The Conjuring are even more prominent in this evil tale of Annabelle. The dark force, evil shadow appears around Annabelle and it even forms a long and dark hand that grabs onto a woman's arm.

The scary and tense moments keep coming at a quick clip. Every time the action slows for a minute something else weird happens out of the blue when you least expect it to.

Grade: A+

Possessed Priest in Annabelle

The Priest in Annabelle tried to get rid of the doll but instead he got possessed himself and could not shake it.
The Priest in Annabelle tried to get rid of the doll but instead he got possessed himself and could not shake it. | Source

Drama

The movie has drama and loads of it. When the lady elects to give her soul to the demon to save the baby it's breathtaking. Also, the stroller rolling into the street on its own is dramatic because a little baby is in it! The film takes several twists and turns. As soon as you start guessing what's gonna happen something else happens instead.

The only thing lacking is a more in depth look into the characters lives in the movie. It's hard to feel for the characters if you do not know much about them. Having said that, for a horror film its got pretty descent drama.

Grade: B+

Annabelle: The Real Story

Acting

The stars of Annabelle are: Ward Horton, Alfred Woodard and Annabelle Wallis. (What a coincidence)! The acting in the movie is not bad at all. The only complaint that I would have is that there is really not enough actors in the movie. Overall, the acting was probably a B or maybe B+ but, trying to pull off such a diverse film that takes you all kinds of places but yet, it only has the couple, book store lady, detective, and that's it for recurring character roles.

Grade: B-

* Please share your thoughts about Annabelle or even The Conjuring in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this page.

Annabelle Halloween Mask

Annabelle has gotten so popular that Halloween costumes were produced. Many fans celebrated Halloween by dressing up as the scary doll and trick or treating.
Annabelle has gotten so popular that Halloween costumes were produced. Many fans celebrated Halloween by dressing up as the scary doll and trick or treating. | Source

Directing, Writing and Producing

This movie was directed by John Leonetti and produced by James Wan. Gary Dauberman wrote the story. The directing, writing and producing of this film was excellent. Producer James Wan is highly skilled and has made many top blockbusters. The way the movie creeps up on you from certain angles and the many locations it has keeps it entertaining to say the least.

The story is unique and well written. It goes deep into the story and background of Annabelle and it also speaks of the witch from The Conjuring named Bathsheda.

Grade: B+

Annabelle Movie Poster

Annabelle is a scary film based on a possessed doll. It's rated R and it will make your heart race.
Annabelle is a scary film based on a possessed doll. It's rated R and it will make your heart race. | Source

Annabelle: Behind The Scenes

Music/Sound Effects

Joseph Bishara made the music soundtrack although not scary, did fit the movie well. Not bad but, a little to be desired because it didn't have a theme song per say.

The sound effects and noises were intense however. The film has lots of quite moments to build the intensity which works to a degree. Overall, the music needed a dark tune but, failed to achieve that part in my opinion.

Grade: B-

Fright Fest

Annabelle features lots of jump scares and many demonic parts. The demon wants a soul and it will not leave without one.
Annabelle features lots of jump scares and many demonic parts. The demon wants a soul and it will not leave without one. | Source

Official Annabelle Movie Trailer

Final Thoughts.......

Overall, Annabelle is very frightening. It's more horrific than The Conjuring which had its own scary parts as well. This is the only movie at the theaters that I have been to where part of the audience kept standing by the walls and exits. Also, way more screaming and jumping from the crowd at this film than any other I've seen at the movie theater. It's a mix of different horror styles. Although I wouldn't rank it with The Exorcist, it's not way behind. It focuses more on demons rather than ghosts which is scary as can be as is but, the visual look of some of this stuff is off the hook.

Definitely a good horror film and worth taking a look at. I am going to add this one to my collection once it comes out on DVD.

Grade: A-

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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