I think Annabelle is one of those cash grab prequels. I understand, The Conjuring was a very good movie, in fact one of the best horror movies of modern times and it made sense to release a movie of one of the stars of the film: Annabelle. My friends were very excited for this one and they were sending the trailers and some teaser posters and I couldn’t get excited. I feel bad because now the first thing I’m going to do after writing this review is taking my phone and send a text to my friends saying that the movie is not good. To the studio, don’t worry guys, horror movies never really fail and a creepy doll will have its success at the box office. You’ll get the money back because there’s an audience for your movie. Teenagers behind me were really into the movie, they got scared and had fun, I’m sure these people is going to recommend this film to their friends so they have something to do on Friday. A movie that is in the trend of haunted houses and evil dolls will do great. Don’t worry, be happy.
It’s a horror movie, a lot (hey, I said “a lot” not “all”) of horror movies are not well shaped. The scares take over the story and it’s hard to enjoy the whole movie and you’re basically trapped inside a horror house just waiting for jump scares. Horror houses are fun, but a movie is different. A film is supposed to have a story or at least characters who carry us around the movie. There’s not enough of the stuff I want in the movie.
Even if I’m not the kind of viewer that wants the flick to be realistic, who in the world would get that doll? It’s scary, it’s horrible. I know the real doll, maybe they should’ve use that in the first movie so they can have it in this movie and it would make more sense. But having this doll inside your kid’s room is like handing a rotten human arm on the wall, not right.
The movie has a nice opening, an almost perfect family expecting a baby moves to a house, but Annabelle doesn’t work after the first half hour. Maybe it could work better as a short film, I believe that’s a better idea if they wanted to release the story of the doll, but of course, the point of this movie is making money. Why did the studio put money in a movie like this? Mystery in horror movies is good, we don’t really need to know where did the story of Annabelle has its beginning. Like Boba Fett, the insteresting thing about the character is the mystery that involves him, same with Annabelle. But that’s just my opinion.
The problem lays on the script and direction. While the story is based on the roots of a great idea, a frightning concept, the execution may not feel good when you finally get to see the movie. Annabelle doesn’t make a lot of sense, the characters feel dull, they don’t seem to be important and most of the scenes are quite predictable. I hate to be that person, the hater who says that a movie is predictable in every bit, Annabelle, unfortunately has pretty much every cliché of recent movies. Characters don’t think a lot, most of them are quite dumb or way too innocent. The movie feels long too. Maybe I’m being mean to the movie just because is not directed by James Wan, who I really admire, especially for his recent work and for the first time I’m excited about a Fast & Furious film. This is directed by the same guy who directed the Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and this is a step forward, but I don’t think he is quite up there, yet. Director John R. Leonetti is able to make the movie look good, and it looks quite great, he is Wan’s choice of cinematographer, but other than that, there’s not much to offer.
The movie has its own effective moments, it manages to creep out members of the audience. There’s a very cool elevator scene which I thought was very interesting and well executed. This is October, its time to watch horror movies in the theater with your friends and this is going to do well. Casual horror audience could like this. Me? Not much.