‘Annabelle’ fails to linger, but thrills

Annabelle” is a spin off of the previously popular film “The Conjuring.” It is based on a baby expecting couple who, when in search for additions to a doll collection, come in contact with an old, collectors doll. The doll then becomes the base of a demonic possession who is in search for a soul to steal. Director, John Leonetti, creatively pulls off intense and thrilling scenes that will make you cover your eyes but it is not a horror film that will cause sleepless nights for the next week.

Annabelle” begins with the common screeching and eery music, as expected in most horror films. The original title screen is subpar and immediately sets the viewer up to think of the film as insufficient as it consists of a poorly chosen font in an obtrusive red color that does not match the background or tone whatsoever.

Although the film is set up poorly, the admirable yet stereotypical 1960s relationship between the main characters played by Annabelle Wallis (Mia Gordon) and Ward Horton (John Gordon), create a viewer-character relationship very quickly drawing the viewer in.

The first moment when real horror hits is fairly close to the beginning and turns out to be a true moment of fright as it was hardly anticipated. From there, the type of “horror” completely shifts as the couple makes a transition. The horror then makes an unfortunate turn into the common demonic haunting scares. 

The predictability of the film is definitely a factor when it comes to the lack of linger aspect. ”

The film is set up very well and is simple for the viewer to follow until a random and extremely important character played by Alfre Woodard (Evelyn)  is introduced. The meeting is unexpected as she is barely seen on camera a few scenes before and then randomly meets the main couple. Yet random, this character’s role in the end is completely unexpected adding to the quality of the film.

Special effects were limited in this film. Most effects that were included were on point and added to the spookiness of the film except for one—at a crucial point—that made the intense moment almost hysterical.

The predictability of the film is definitely a factor when it comes to the lack of linger aspect. Though the characteristics of the doll, as the film progresses, become more and more fearful, there are no faces or instances that have stuck or have felt haunting which is something that horror films should do.

Even though the frights disappeared the instant the screen went black at the end of the film, “Annabelle” is a movie worth seeing in theaters. It is completely relatable to other “pop-out” horror films but it still creates suspense and gives the thrills horror movie lovers thrive for. The bases of the film is there and the actors are spot on so grab a buddy and hit the theater before it’s too late.