Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Movie Review: Annabelle

The creepy doll gets its own horror movie and somewhat of an origin story. Mia (Annabelle Wallis) is an expectant mother and doll collector who is given the porcelain figure as a present from her husband John (Ward Horton). He doesn't believe her when she says she hears a scream from the neighbors but investigates to find the neighbors bleeding. Mia is attacked by followers of a satanic cult and the woman cultist, Annabelle Higgins, kills herself when the cops arrive, bleeding into the doll's eye. Mia recovers from a stab wound to her stomach, though her child is still alive inside her. Strange noises start to sound in the night and weird occurrences like the sewing machine coming on as the doll shifts.

John throws the doll in the garbage when Mia is disgusted by it being held by the murderous woman. When all the stoves mysteriously turn on starting a fire and something grabs her leg, Mia is taken to the hospital and has the baby. They move to a new apartment and attend a church service with a congregation led by Father Perez (Tony Amendola). Somehow, the Annabelle doll shows up again much to John's concern but Mia wants to keep it. She meets her neighbor Evelyn (Alfre Woodard) but is also haunted by a strange woman walking around her house while she sleeps. She sees strange things and tries to convince her husband who turns to the church.

The demonic presence continues to haunt her, chasing her in the basement of the apartment and up the stairs. When Detective Clarkin (Eric Ladin) informs her of the cult's purpose, she researches the demon the cult had hoped to summon. Evelyn helps her discover the truth and Mia demands help from her husband who brings in Father Perez. The priest takes the doll with him but when he tries to take it inside the church, he is thrown back and injured. Evelyn helps Mia care for the baby and reveals how her daughter died. Father Perez awakes to warn John of the demon's intentions to take her soul. John hurries back to the apartment as strange things happen at their home. 

The demon destroys Mia's doll collection and pushes Evelyn out of the apartment. Mia desperately searches for her crying baby as doors slam shut and the doll stares on wickedly. She hallucinates the doll and tries to destroy but then thinks it is her child. The demon tempts her to take her own life. She is ready to give her soul but John stops her from jumping out the window with Annabelle. Knowing the demon requires a soul, Evelyn sacrifices herself by jumping with the doll and ridding the curse of the demon. The doll goes missing in the ensuing investigation. 

Annabelle is a pretty decent horror film with plenty of quality scares. The film fills in the background of what happened before the nurses were gifted the doll and introduces another demonic creature. The black crawling demon is pretty scary and though the doll looks pretty weird, it doesn't generate quite the same scares. I liked the film a little better on the second watch and was still pretty shocked by some of the sudden jolts of the film. I look forward to seeing the sequel tomorrow night that will expand on the story and some how give us another origin tale.  

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