‘Annabelle’ flops, predictable horror schlock

Though filled with unsettling imagery, Annabelle offers nothing new or exciting to the horror genre.  (Photo provided by nerdist.com)
Though filled with unsettling imagery, Annabelle offers nothing new or exciting to the horror genre. (Photo provided by nerdist.com)

The latest horror movie “Annabelle” fails severely to strike fear into the hearts of moviegoers.

The movie is a prequel to “The Conjuring,” which the director of “Annabelle,” John Leonetti, worked on.

Taking place in the 1960s, a young couple is expecting a child in the near future and have just moved into a new home. One night, two members of a satanic cult murder their neighbors and then attack the couple in hopes of conjuring a demon. Blood from one of the cult members is spilt onto the porcelain Annabelle doll, which helps release this demon that wreaks havoc on the young mother.

Starring Annabelle Wallis (“Peaky Blinders”) as the mother Mia Gordon and Ward Horton (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) as the father John Gordon, the lack of experience in some of the actors shows. Early on in the film the acting is rough and feels fake, but as the movie progresses it becomes more bearable.

The way most things happen in the film is laughable. The couple thinks that the demon is after their newborn child, but continually leaves the child alone when the demon comes to harass them. Also, in one scene Mia reaches out to move a curtain when she suspects something is behind it. No one in the history of moving curtains has ever reached out to move a curtain for that length of time.

Of course screams during the scenes were meant to frighten viewers, but there were also a lot of laughs. The scare tactics are more of a caught-off-guard thing than they are playing with your fear. Even the demon isn’t as scary as audiences would have hoped. The first time it is seen, the demon is a bit creepy, but after that it’s as if magical forces are doing everything because the demon doesn’t really come back to be seen.

If you were looking for something like Chucky in “Child’s Play” then the movie will let you down; Annabelle only moves once on her own when viewers can see it.

One thing the film does well is making the viewer question if things are happening inside Mia’s head or if there are some higher supernatural forces at hand. Early on, Mia seems to be going crazy, something that is understandable since she was just brutally attacked in her own home. It’s not until things start happening, like they’re in “The Butterfly Effect,” do viewers get a taste of supernatural forces.

In the end, this movie was a major let down. Don’t expect to be freaked out or to lose sleep at night, because this movie is not that scary. The acting is subpar, the supernatural aspects intended to freak viewers out can be comical at times and the actions of the actors are not realistic. The only positive thing in this movie was that the doll was locked into a glass box so the movie could finally end.

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