Annabelle - 'the doll is one of the scariest yokes you'll ever see'
Horror. Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodward, Tony Amendola, Eric Ladin. Directed by John R. Leonetti. Cert 16
With Halloween almost upon us, this is traditionally a time when low-budget horror movies loom ever larger in the cinemas. One of the biggest hits of last year, in terms of return for budget, was The Conjuring and Annabelle acts as effectively a prequel to and spin-off from that movie.
Again based on the case files of real-life ‘supernatural detectives’ Ed and Lorraine Warren, Annabelle is in essence an ‘evil doll’ movie which explains how said titular doll wound up in a sealed cabinet in the Warrens’ museum where, the credits inform us, it’s blessed twice a month by a priest just to be on the safe side. Right so.
Anyway, we’re back in 1969 and the Manson family are on the prowl, as are various Satanic cults, one of which, Disciples of the Ram, murders John and Mia Gordon’s (Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis) neighbours and attacks them.
Just as the police arrive, one of the cult kills herself and her blood drains into the eye of the doll which, it has to be said, is one of the scariest yokes you’ll ever see.
Subsequently the heavily pregnant Mia begins to have visions that some presence or other is after her baby and seeks the help of a local priest (Tony Amendola) and a woman who runs an occult bookshop
Annabelle works reasonably well in the first half, building up a nice sense of impending dread. It borrows heavily from
Rosemary’s Baby before turning to a by-the-numbers litany of standard shock tactics.